2019 Horizon Report

2019 Horizon Report Cover

This report profiles six key trends, six significant challenges, and six important developments in educational technology as ranked by an expert panel of leaders from across the higher education landscape.

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Continuing to Look to the Horizon

EDUCAUSE is proud to continue the tradition of excellence begun by the New Media Consortium's (NMC) work on the Horizon Report. The report serves as a reference and technology planning guide for educators, higher education leaders, administrators, policy makers, and technologists. 

Key Trends Accelerating Technology Adoption in Higher Education

Horizon Report Key Trends Image

This section of the report describes the trends expected to have a significant impact on the ways in which colleges and universities approach their core mission of teaching, learning, and creative inquiry. 

Short-TermDriving technology adoption in higher education for the next one to two years

  • Redesigning Learning Spaces
  • Blended Learning Designs

Mid-TermDriving technology adoption in higher education for the next three to five years

  • Advancing Cultures of Innovation
  • Growing Focus on Measuring Learning

Long-TermDriving technology adoption in higher education for five or more years

  • Rethinking How Institutions Work
  • Modularized and Disaggregated Degrees

Read more on these key trends >

Significant Challenges Impeding Technology Adoption in Higher Education

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Significant challenges are those that are expected to impede innovation, adoption, or scale. The significant challenges are organized into three difficulty-related categories based on expert panel assessment of the degree to which each could be solved at the institutional level.

SolvableThose that we understand and know how to solve

  • Improving Digital Fluency
  • Increasing Demand for Digital Learning Experience and Instructional Design Expertise

DifficultThose that we understand but for which solutions are elusive

  • The Evolving Roles of Faculty with Edtech Strategies
  • Bridging the Achievement Gap

WickedThose that are complex to even define, much less address

  • Advancing Digital Equity
  • Rethinking the Practice of Teaching

Discover more on the significant challenges >

Important Developments in Educational Technology for Higher Education

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The development section includes six technologies forecast to be important to teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in the future. These forecasts are arranged along three time horizons over which the developments are expected to achieve widespread adoption. This section also includes featured exemplar projects.

Time to Adoption: One Year or Less

  • Mobile Learning
  • Analytics Technologies

Time to Adoption: Two to Three Years

  • Mixed Reality
  • Artificial Intelligence

Time to Adoption: Four to Five Years

  • Blockchain
  • Virtual Assistants

Explore the important developments more >

Fail or Scale

Horizon Report Fail or Scale image

This year's report also looks back to previous forecasts, specifically in the technology developments section, from four years prior or beyond. We sought the expertise and experience of Horizon Project panelists who were part of the panel at that time or had a depth of experience with the history, adoption, or scale of the technology development topic to provide insights on their actual effect.

  • Gaming and Gamification: The Expectations and the Realities
  • Augmented and Mixed Reality: The Why, When, and How of Situating Learning in Authentic Contexts
  • Adaptive Learning: Understanding Its Progress and Potential

Read the essay reflections >

Horizon Report: The Evolution Continues

This year's Horizon Report has been updated with new features and improvements including Fail or Scale essays revisiting past forecasts to see where we are now, companion data points providing connections to other data that support the expert panel determinations for 2019, and new quotes from expert panel members highlighting their insights and engagement on the issues. Updated topic summaries throughout the report provide a fresh overview of new and old trends.

The 2019 Horizon panel was the largest panel to date, with 98 global experts. Participation rates of those actively joining in conversation throughout the four stages of the process were noticeably higher than in previous years and provided a rich dialogue around the trends, challenges, and developments noted by the panel this year. To view the panel dialogue, visit the Horizon Tool.

The Horizon Report will continue to evolve in 2020. Learn more >

Related Resources

Issues, Technologies, and Trends Resources

Higher education leaders and decision makers use the annual Issues, Technologies, and Trends resources—the Top 10 IT Issues, the Strategic Technologies and Trends, the ELI Key Issues in Teaching and Learning, and the Horizon Report—to know what's important and where to focus in their IT planning and management activities. When viewed together these resources provide more complete and nuanced guidance on institutional IT priorities.