I was glad to see last week the 2019 Educase Horizon Report published. Like many others I had a bit of a “love/hate” or perhaps more accurately “read/groan” attitude towards the now defunct NMC Horizon reports. After wondering for many a year how the expert panel was chosen and how one c/would be part of it, I found out (you just ask), and I finally managed to get on the panel just before the NMC went bust.
However, having made it to the panel and done a bit of earlier work I was happy to continue being part of the work as its new home was found. I think this year the report has moved on a bit. I particularly like the way that the panel discussion and debate is reflected in the report. It really does add value. The highlighting of significant challenges impeding HE tech adoption also appeals to my inner cynic.
I think this year does reflect my own experience more, particularly in areas like developing approaches to blended learning and staff development. The later is so often forgotten as institutional plans are drawn up. If you don’t actively and genuinely involve staff (and students, though that is harder due to their natural turn over) in your plans for changing your “value system” or introducing new technology, then you won’t get the kind of change that a vision statement may allude to. Again it is good to see the discussion around the need for more instructional designers and for teaching staff to develop their design skills. This is closely linked to digital capabilities and what the report is referring to as digital fluency. Still not quite sure about that term . . . There’s also a more nuanced approach to data and analytics.
So whilst there may still be a few read/groan moments, overall I think this year’s report is really worth a read and well done the the editorial team for pulling all the discussions together in such a coherent and useful way.