2018 NMC Horizon Report

2018 NMC Horizon Report brought to you by EDUCAUSE


For more than a decade, EDUCAUSE has partnered with the New Media Consortium (NMC) to publish the annual Horizon Report - Higher Education Edition. Earlier this year, EDUCAUSE acquired the rights to the NMC Horizon project, which identifies and describes the higher education trends, challenges, and developments in educational technology likely to have an impact on learning, teaching, and creative inquiry. EDUCAUSE is publishing this 15th edition to both honor and work actively with the NMC’s Horizon legacy.

Key Trends Accelerating Higher Education Technology Adoption

Short TermDriving technology adoption in Higher Education for the next one to two years

  • Growing Focus on Measuring Learning
  • Redesigning Learning Spaces

Mid-TermDriving technology adoption in Higher Education for the next three to five years

  • Proliferation of Open Educational Resources
  • The Rise of New Forms of Interdisciplinary Studies

Long-TermDriving technology adoption in Higher Education for five or more years

  • Advancing Cultures of Innovation
  • Cross-Institution and Cross-Sector Collaboration

Significant Challenges Impeding Higher Education Technology Adoption

SolvableThose that we understand and know how to solve

  • Authentic Learning Experiences
  • Improving Digital Literacy

DifficultThose that we understand but for which solutions are elusive

  • Adapting Organizational Designs to the Future of Work
  • Advancing Digital Equity

WickedThose that are complex to even define, much less address

  • Economic and Political Pressures
  • Rethinking the Roles of Educators

Important Developments in Technology for Higher Education

Time to Adoption: One Year or Less

  • Analytics Technologies
  • Makerspaces

Time to Adoption: Two to Three years

  • Adaptive Learning Technologies
  • Artificial Intelligence

Time to Adoption: Four to Five years

  • Mixed Reality
  • Robotics

2018 Exemplar Projects

In the inclusive tradition of NMC, EDUCAUSE solicited projects from the international higher education community that exemplify the development horizons in this year’s report. 109 project submissions were received and of these, 18 institutional projects were selected for inclusion in the Horizon Report. We’ll take a deeper dive into the projects in a series of EDUCAUSE Review blogs that will be published biweekly through September 2018. The first blog follows below.


The process used to research and create the 2018 NMC Horizon Report brought to you by EDUCAUSE is rooted in the methods used across all the research conducted within the NMC Horizon Project. All editions of the NMC Horizon Report are informed by both primary and secondary research. Dozens of meaningful trends, challenges, and important developments in technology are examined for possible inclusion in the report for each edition before the expert panel selects the 18 topics profiled in the report. Learn more.

Related Resources

Stay Connected with the Horizon Community

Keep in touch with your colleagues and peers—and meet new ones—by attending these EDUCAUSE events:

  • EDUCAUSE Annual Conference, October 30-November 2, 2018, in Denver, Colorado. Connect with NMC community members in a special Horizon Report Meet and Mingle session on Thursday, November 1.
  • ELI Annual Meeting, February 19-21, 2019, in Anaheim, California. This annual event brings together an intellectually diverse community of teaching and learning professionals who share a passion for higher education and student success.

If you would like to know more about our plan for the NMC community and the Horizon Report, contact Noreen Barajas-Murphy, EDUCAUSE Interim Director of Academic Community Programs.