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NMC   Horizon Report > 2012 Higher Education Edition
Join the conversation.Join the community.Join the NMC.                   NMC
The NMC (New Media Consortium) is an international community of experts in educationaltechnology — from the practitioners ...
The internationally recognized NMC Horizon Report series and regional NMC Technology Outlooks are partof the NMC Horizon P...
1Contents 	                  	        	         	        > Click on a topic or page number to jump to that page.Executive ...
NMCThe NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition is a collaboration between theNew Media Consortium and the EDUCAU...
3Executive SummaryT       he internationally recognized NMC Horizon              topics that appear here in the NMC Horizo...
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Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less                                                                            11mo...
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Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less                                                                            15ta...
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Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years                                                                           19t...
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Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years                                                                         21GAM...
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2012 Horizon Report
2012 Horizon Report
2012 Horizon Report
2012 Horizon Report
2012 Horizon Report
2012 Horizon Report
2012 Horizon Report
2012 Horizon Report
2012 Horizon Report
2012 Horizon Report
2012 Horizon Report
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2012 Horizon Report
2012 Horizon Report
2012 Horizon Report
2012 Horizon Report
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2012 Horizon Report


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2012 Horizon Report

  1. 1. NMC Horizon Report > 2012 Higher Education Edition
  2. 2. Join the conversation.Join the community.Join the NMC. NMC
  3. 3. The NMC (New Media Consortium) is an international community of experts in educationaltechnology — from the practitioners who work with new technologies on campuses everyday;to the visionaries who are shaping the future of learning at think tanks, labs, and researchcenters; to its staff and board of directors; to the advisory boards and others helping the NMCconduct cutting edge research.> The NMC helps its members stay at the leading edge of emerging technology.> The key interest of the NMC community is in technologies and applications that make learning more relevant and more engaging.> As a community, we engage in research that catalyzes discussion, we convene people around new ideas, and we build communities and networks that encourage exploration and experimentation.We help our hundreds of member universities, colleges, schools, museums, and organizationsdrive innovation across their campuses.> Find out how you can join the NMC at> Learn more about the NMC here
  4. 4. The internationally recognized NMC Horizon Report series and regional NMC Technology Outlooks are partof the NMC Horizon Project, a comprehensive research venture established in 2002 that identifies anddescribes emerging technologies likely to have a large impact over the coming five years in educationaround the globe.
  5. 5. 1Contents > Click on a topic or page number to jump to that page.Executive Summary 3Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less> Mobile Apps 10> Tablet Computing 14Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years > Game-Based Learning 18> Learning Analytics 22 Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years> Gesture-Based Computing 26 > Internet of Things 30 Methodology 34 The NMC Horizon Project: 2012 Higher Education Advisory Board 36 Interested in these emerging technology topics? Learn more about them and other edtech insights by “liking” us onFacebook at and following us on Twitter at
  6. 6. NMCThe NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition is a collaboration between theNew Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, an EDUCAUSE Program.The research behind the NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education The NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher EducationEdition is jointly conducted by the New Media Consortium (NMC) and Edition is made possible via a grant from HP.the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), an EDUCAUSE Program. The ELI’scritical participation in the production of this report and their strong HP creates innovative technology solutions that benefit individuals,support for the NMC Horizon Project is gratefully acknowledged. To businesses, governments and society. HP’s Office for Global Sociallearn more about ELI, visit; to learn more about Innovation applies HP’s global reach, broad portfolio of products andthe NMC, visit services, and the expertise of its employees to support initiatives in education, healthcare and communities around the world. As the© 2012, The New Media Consortium. world’s largest technology company, HP brings together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services, and ITISBN 978-0-9846601-3-1 infrastructure to solve customer problems. More information about HP is available at is granted under a Creative Commons Attribution License toreplicate, copy, distribute, transmit, or adapt this report freely provided Cover photographthat attribution is provided as illustrated in the citation below. To view By Kate Morgan, Director of University Relations at Penn State Lehigha copy of this license, visit or Valley. As part of the University’s Mobile Media pilot, two honors biologysend a letter to Creative Commons, 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, students at Penn State Lehigh Valley document, edit, and upload labCalifornia 94305, USA. procedures for Bio 110 students to reference, using only iPod Touch 4Gs., L., Adams, S., and Cummins, M. (2012). Inside Front Cover PhotographThe NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition. Austin, Texas: © Ohmega1982/ShutterstockThe New Media Consortium. Inside Back Cover Photograph © Jordan Rose Grulke Design by
  7. 7. 3Executive SummaryT he internationally recognized NMC Horizon topics that appear here in the NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Report series and regional NMC Technology Higher Education Edition. The examples and readings Outlooks are part of the NMC Horizon Project, under each topic area are meant to provide practical a comprehensive research venture established models as well as access to more detailed information. in 2002 that identifies and describes emerging The precise research methodology employed is detailedtechnologies likely to have a large impact over the in the closing section of this report.coming five years in education around the globe. Thisvolume, the NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education The report’s format is consistent from year to year andEdition, was again produced in a collaborative effort edition to edition, and opens with a discussion of thewith the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative, an EDUCAUSE trends and challenges identified by the advisory boardProgram, and examines emerging technologies for theirpotential impact on teaching, learning, and creativeinquiry within the higher education environment. The technologies featured in eachTo create the report, an international body of experts ineducation, technology, and other fields was convened edition of the NMC Horizon Report areas an advisory board. The group engaged in discussionsaround a set of research questions intended to surface embedded within a contemporarysignificant trends and challenges and to identify a widearray of potential technologies for the report. This dialog context that reflects the realities ofwas enriched by a wide range of resources, currentresearch, and practice that drew on the expertise of the time, both in the sphere of higherboth the NMC community and the communities ofthe members of the advisory board. These interactions education and in the world at large.among the advisory board are the focus of the NMC as most important for the next five years. The formatHorizon Report research, and this report details the areas of the main section of this edition closely reflects thein which these experts were in strong agreement. focus of the NMC Horizon Project itself, centering on the applications of emerging technologies — inEach of the three global editions of the NMC Horizon this case for higher education settings. Each sectionReport — higher education, primary and secondary is introduced with an overview that describes whateducation, and museum education — highlights six the topic is, followed by a discussion of the particularemerging technologies or practices that are likely to relevance of the topic to teaching, learning, and creativeenter mainstream use with their focus sectors within inquiry in higher education. Several concrete examplesthree adoption horizons over the next five years. Key of how the technology is being used are given. Finally,trends and challenges that will affect current practice each section closes with an annotated list of suggestedover the same period frame these discussions. Over readings and additional examples that expand on thethe course of just a few weeks in the late fall of 2011, discussion in the report. These resources, along withthe advisory board came to a consensus about the six countless other helpful projects and readings, can all
  8. 8. 4 NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Editionbe found in the project’s open content database — the adoption of cloud-based applications and servicesNMC Horizon Project Navigator ( All is changing not only the ways we configure and usethe ephemera of the NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher software and file storage, but also how we conceptualizeEducation Edition, including the research data, the those functions. It does not matter where our work isinterim results, the topic preview, and this publication, stored; what matters is that our information is accessiblecan be downloaded for free on iTunes U ( no matter where we are or what device we chooseitunes-u). to use. Globally, in huge numbers, we are growing accustomed to a model of browser-based softwareKey Trends that is device independent. While some challengesThe technologies featured in each edition of the NMC still remain, specifically with notions of privacy andHorizon Report are embedded within a contemporary sovereignty, the promise of significant cost savings is ancontext that reflects the realities of the time, both in the important driver in the search for solutions.sphere of higher education and in the world at large. Toensure this context was well understood, the advisoryboard engaged in an extensive review of currentarticles, interviews, papers, and new research to identify 3 The world of work is increasingly collaborative, driving changes in the way student projects are structured. Because employers value collaboration asand rank trends that are currently affecting teaching, a critical skill, silos both in the workplace and at schoollearning, and creative inquiry in higher education. Once are being abandoned in favor of collective intelligence.detailed, the list of trends was then ranked according To facilitate more teamwork and group communication,to how significant each was likely to be for higher projects rely on tools such as wikis, Google Docs, Skype,education in the next five years. The highest ranked and easily shared file-storage sites including Dropbox.of those trends had significant agreement among the Students are increasingly evaluated not just on theadvisory board members, who considered them to be overall outcome, but also on the success of the groupkey drivers of educational technology adoptions for the dynamic. In many cases, the way an online collaborationperiod 2012 through 2017. They are listed here in the tool is used is an equally important outcome. Like theorder in which the advisory board ranked them. wiki used to create this report, such sites preserve the process and the multiple perspectives that lead to the1 People expect to be able to work, learn, and study whenever and wherever they want to. Life in an end results.increasingly busy world where learners must balancedemands from home, work, school, and family posesa host of logistical challenges with which today’s ever 4 The abundance of resources and relationships made easily accessible via the Internet is increasingly challenging us to revisit our roles asmore mobile students must cope. Work and learning educators. Institutions must consider the uniqueare often two sides of the same coin, and people want value that each adds to a world in which informationeasy and timely access not only to the information on is everywhere. In such a world, sense-making andthe network, but also to tools, resources, and up-to-the- the ability to assess the credibility of information aremoment analysis and commentary. These needs, as well paramount. Mentoring and preparing students foras the increasingly essential access to social media and the world in which they will live and work is again atnetworks, have risen to the level of expectations. The the forefront. Universities have always been seen asopportunities for informal learning in the modern world the gold standard for educational credentialing, butare abundant and diverse, and greatly expand on earlier emerging certification programs from other sources arenotions like “just-in-time” or “found” learning. eroding the value of that mission daily.2 The technologies we use are increasingly cloud-based, and our notions of IT supportare decentralized. The continuing acceptance and 5 Education paradigms are shifting to include online learning, hybrid learning and collaborative models. Budget cuts have forced institutions to re-
  9. 9. Executive Summary 5evaluate their education strategies and find alternatives factors in any decision to adopt — or not to adopt — ato the exclusive face-to-face learning models. Students given technology.already spend much of their free time on the Internet,learning and exchanging new information — often via Even institutions that are eager to adopt newtheir social networks. Institutions that embrace face-to- technologies may be critically constrained by theface/online hybrid learning models have the potential lack of necessary human resources and the financialto leverage the online skills learners have already wherewithal to realize their ideas. Still others aredeveloped independent of academia. We are beginning located within buildings that simply were not designedto see developments in online learning that offer to provide the radio frequency transparency thatdifferent affordances than physical campuses, including wireless technologies require, and thus find themselvesopportunities for increased collaboration while shut out of many potential technology options. Whileequipping students with stronger digital skills. Hybrid acknowledging that local barriers to technologymodels, when designed and implemented successfully, adoptions are many and significant, the advisory boardenable students to travel to campus for some activities, focused its discussions on challenges that are commonwhile using the network for others, taking advantage of to the higher education community as a whole. Thethe best of both environments. highest ranked challenges they identified are listed here, in the order in which the advisory board ranked6 There is a new emphasis in the classroom on more challenge-based and active learning. them.Challenge-based learning and similar methods fostermore active learning experiences, both inside andoutside the classroom. As technologies such as tablets 1 Economic pressures and new models of education are bringing unprecedented competition to the traditional models of higher education. Across theand smartphones now have proven applications in board, institutions are looking for ways to control costshigher education institutions, educators are leveraging while still providing a high quality of service. Institutionsthese tools, which students already use, to connect are challenged by the need to support a steady — orthe curriculum with real life issues. The active learning growing — number of students with fewer resourcesapproaches are decidedly more student-centered, and staff than before. As a result, creative institutionsallowing them to take control of how they engage with are developing new models to serve students, such asa subject and to brainstorm and implement solutions to streaming introductory courses over the network. Aspressing local and global problems. The hope is that if these pressures continue, other models may emergelearners can connect the course material with their own that diverge from traditional ones. Simply capitalizinglives, their surrounding communities, and the world as a on new technology, however, is not enough; the newwhole, then they will become more excited to learn and models must use these tools and services to engageimmerse themselves in the subject matter. students on a deeper level.Significant ChallengesAny discussion of technology adoption must alsoconsider important constraints and challenges, and the 2 Appropriate metrics of evaluation lag the emergence of new scholarly forms of authoring, publishing, and researching. Traditional approaches toadvisory board drew deeply from a careful analysis of scholarly evaluation, such as citation-based metrics, arecurrent events, papers, articles, and similar sources, as often hard to apply to research that is disseminated orwell as from personal experience, in detailing a long conducted via social media. New forms of peer reviewlist of challenges higher education institutions face and approval, such as reader ratings, inclusion in andin adopting any new technology. Several important mention by influential blogs, tagging, incoming links,challenges are detailed below, but it was clear that and re-tweeting, are arising from the natural actions ofbehind them all was a pervasive sense that individual the global community of educators, with increasinglyorganizational constraints are likely the most important relevant and interesting results. These forms of scholarly
  10. 10. 6 NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Editioncorroboration are not yet well understood by mainstream nature of the way we communicate, access information,faculty and academic decision-makers, creating a gap connect with peers and colleagues, learn, and evenbetween what is possible and what is acceptable. socialize. Taken together, they provided the advisory board a frame through which to consider the potential3 Digital media literacy continues its rise in importance as a key skill in every disciplineand profession. Despite the widespread agreement impacts of nearly 50 emerging technologies and related practices that were analyzed and discussed for possible inclusion in this edition of the NMC Horizon Report series.on the importance of digital media literacy, training in Six of those were chosen through successive rounds ofthe supporting skills and techniques is rare in teacher ranking; they are summarized below and detailed in theeducation and non-existent in the preparation of most main body of the faculty. As lecturers and professors beginto realize that they are limiting their students by not Technologies to Watchhelping them to develop and use digital media literacy The six technologies featured in the NMC Horizonskills across the curriculum, the lack of formal training Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition are placed alongis being offset through professional development or three adoption horizons that indicate likely timeframesinformal learning, but we are far from seeing digital for their entrance into mainstream use for teaching,media literacy as an expected norm for academic learning, and creative inquiry. The near-term horizonprofessionals, nor as a key part of degree programs. assumes the likelihood of entry into the mainstream for higher education institutions within the next twelve4 Institutional barriers present formidable challenges to moving forward in a constructiveway with emerging technologies. Too often it is months; the mid-term horizon, within two to three years; and the far-term, within four to five years. It should be noted at the outset that the NMC Horizon Report is not aeducation’s own processes and practices that limit predictive tool. It is meant, rather, to highlight emergingbroader uptake of new technologies. Much resistance technologies with considerable potential for our focusto change is simply comfort with the status quo, but in areas of education and interpretation. Each of the sixother cases, such as in promotion and tenure reviews, is already the target of work at a number of innovativeexperimentation with or adoptions of clearly innovative organizations around the world, and the projects weapplications of technologies is often seen as outside the showcase here reveal the promise of a wider impact.role of researcher or scientist. Near-term Horizon5 New modes of scholarship are presenting significant challenges for libraries and universitycollections, how scholarship is documented, and the On the near-term horizon — that is, within the next 12 months — are mobile apps and tablets. These two topics have become pervasive in everyday life, at leastbusiness models to support these activities. While the in the developed world, and students at universities anduniversity library has traditionally housed collections of colleges have ever-increasing expectations of beingscholarly resources, social networks and new publishing able to learn on these devices whenever and whereverparadigms, such as open content, are challenging the they may be. This year tablets have been separated fromlibrary’s role as curator. Students and educators are mobiles as a distinct category, preserving mobiles as aincreasingly able to access important, historic research descriptor used for typical hand-held devices designedin web browsers on devices of their choosing. As such, to make calls.libraries are under tremendous pressure to evolve newways of supporting and curating scholarship. > Mobile apps are the fastest growing dimension of the mobile space in higher education right now, withThese trends and challenges are a reflection of the impacts on virtually every aspect of informal life,impact of technology that is occurring in almost every and increasingly, every discipline in the university.aspect of our lives. They are indicative of the changing Always-connected Internet devices using 3G
  11. 11. Executive Summary 7 and similar cellular networks, imbedded sensors, > Game-based learning has grown in recent years as cameras, and GPS have proved to be a feature set research continues to demonstrate its effectiveness with hundreds of thousands of applications. Apps for learning. Games for education span the range that take advantage of recent developments in these from single-player or small-group card and board tools, along with advances in electronic publishing games all the way to massively multiplayer online and the convergence of search technology and games and alternate reality games. Those at the location awareness, made this category of software enormously interesting in a higher education context. Higher education institutions are now designing apps The NMC Horizon Report is not a tailored to educational and research needs across the curriculum. predictive tool. It is meant, rather,> Tablet computing presents new opportunities to enhance learning experiences in ways simply not to highlight emerging technologies possible with other devices. High-resolution screens allow users of tablets, such as the iPad, to easily share with considerable potential for content with each other and pore over images and videos on the screen. As people tend to use tablets to our focus areas of education and supplement and not replace smartphones, they are viewed as less disruptive tools (no phone ringing and interpretation. no incoming text messages), which makes them ideal first end of the spectrum are easy to integrate into tools for learning opportunities. Because tablets are the curriculum, and have long been an option in able to tap into all the advantages that mobile apps many higher education institutions; but the greatest bring to smaller devices, but in a larger format, higher potential of games for learning lies in their ability to education institutions are seeing them not just as an foster collaboration and engage students deeply in affordable solution for one-to-one learning, but also the process of learning. Once educational gaming as a feature-rich tool for field and lab work, often providers can match the volume and quality of their times replacing far more expensive and cumbersome consumer-driven counterparts, games will garner devices and equipment. more attention.Mid-term Horizon > Learning analytics loosely joins a variety of data-The second adoption horizon, two to three years out, gathering tools and analytic techniques to studyis where we will begin to see widespread adoptions student engagement, performance, and progressof two technologies that are experiencing growing in practice, with the goal of using what is learnedinterest within higher education: game-based learning to revise curricula, teaching, and assessment in realand learning analytics. Educational gaming brings time. Building on the kinds of information generatedan increasingly credible promise to make learning by Google Analytics and other similar tools, learningexperiences more engaging for students, while at analytics aims to mobilize the power of data-miningthe same time improving important skills, such as tools in the service of learning, and embrace thecollaboration, creativity, and critical thinking. Over complexity, diversity, and abundance of informationthe past year, learning analytics has garnered a lot of that dynamic learning environments can generate.attention. The ability to synthesize data in real-timeis exciting because it changes the structure of the Far-term Horizonlearning dynamic — educators can use the data to On the far-term horizon, set at four to five years away frommake adjustments to their teaching style that better widespread adoption, are gesture-based computingcaters to student needs. and the Internet of Things. Gesture-based technology
  12. 12. 8 NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition has enabled students to learn by doing. Interfaces that environmental data such as temperature or humidity react to touch, movement, voice, and facial expression (and much more) attached to it; and then communicate allow more freedom in how we interact with our the status of that information on demand, whether devices. The Internet of Things, a notion first outlined by optically or via electromagnetic frequencies. With Vint Cerf as one of the many reasons to move to IPv6 to the advent of the new internet Protocol, version six, expand the address space of the Internet, is converging those objects can now have an IP address, enabling with smart objects, and fueling considerable innovation their information store to be accessed in the same in how these devices communicate with each other and way a webcam might be, allowing real-time access with us. Smart objects are already well established in to that information from anywhere. At the same time, new wireless communication strategies, such as near field communication, are making it easier for smartInterfaces that react to touch, objects to connect to networks. The implications are not yet clear, but it is evident that hundreds ofmovement, voice, and facial billions of devices — from delicate lab equipment to refrigerators to next-generation home securityexpression allow more freedom in systems — will soon be designed to take advantage of such we interact with our devices. Each of these technologies is described in detail in the the commercial sector and range along a continuum main body of the report, where a discussion of what from RFID sensors to near field communication (NFC). the technology is and why it is relevant to teaching, These technology topics do not yet have an abundance learning, or creative inquiry may also be found. Given of well-documented project examples in higher the practical focus of the report, a listing of examples education, but the high level of interest found in both of the technology in use, especially in higher education, areas indicates that they are worth following closely. is a key component of each of the six main topics. Our research indicates that all six of these technologies, taken > Gesture-based computing moves the control together, will have a significant impact on learning- of computers from a mouse and keyboard to focused organizations within the next five years. the motions of the body, facial expressions, and voice recognition via new input devices. It makes The NMC Horizon Project interactions with computational devices far more This report is part of a longitudinal research study of intuitive and embodied. From the touchscreens on emerging technologies that began in March 2002. Since smartphones to the gesture and voice interpretation that time, under the banner of the Horizon Project, the of the latest gaming systems (Xbox Kinect and NMC and its research partners have held an ongoing Nintendo Wii) and virtual assistants, gesture-based series of conversations and dialogs with its advisory computing enables users to learn by doing and boards — now more than 450 technology professionals, facilitates the convergence of a user’s thoughts with campus technologists, faculty leaders from colleges and their movements. Large multi-touch displays support universities, museum professionals, teachers and other collaborative work, allowing multiple users to interact school professionals, and representatives of leading with content simultaneously. corporations from more than thirty countries. For more than a decade, these conversations have been mined to > The Internet of Things is the latest turn in the provide the insights on emerging technology that are evolution of smart objects — a category of small published annually in the NMC Horizon Report series. devices or methods that enable an object to be assigned a unique identifier; contain small bits of This report, the NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher information, such as the object’s age, shelf life, and Education Edition, kicks off the tenth year of the
  13. 13. Executive Summary 9series, which is dedicated to charting the landscape fuel the work of the NMC Horizon Project throughoutof emerging technologies for teaching, learning, and 2012. For those wanting to know more about thecreative inquiry in higher education globally. In 2008, processes used to generate the NMC Horizon Reportthe NMC added to the three main NMC Horizon Reports series, many of which are ongoing and extend the worka new series of regional and sector-based studies, called in the reports, we refer you to the report’s final sectionthe NMC Technology Outlooks, with the dual goals of on the research methodology.understanding how technology is being absorbedusing a smaller lens, and also noting the contrastsbetween technology use in one area compared toanother. To date, the NMC has conducted studies oftechnology uptake in Australia, New Zealand, the UK,and Iberoamerica, and has plans in place to expand that The 47 members of this year’sresearch to Central Europe, India, Singapore, and Africa.This report, the flagship publication of the NMC HorizonProject, is translated into multiple languages every advisory board were purposelyyear. Over all editions, the readership of the reports isestimated at more than one million worldwide, with chosen to represent a broadreaders in some 100 countries. spectrum of the higher educationThe 47 members of this year’s advisory board werepurposely chosen to represent a broad spectrum of sector; key writers, thinkers,the higher education sector; key writers, thinkers,technologists, and futurists from education, business, technologists, and futurists fromand industry rounded out the group. They engagedin a comprehensive review and analysis of research, education, business, and industryarticles, papers, blogs, and interviews; discussedexisting applications, and brainstormed new ones; and rounded out the group.ultimately ranked the items on the list of candidatetechnologies for their potential relevance to teaching,learning, or creative inquiry. This work took placeentirely online and may be reviewed on the project wikiat effort to produce the NMC Horizon Report: 2012Higher Education Edition began in November 2011, andconcluded when the report was released in February2012, a period of just over three months. The sixtechnologies and applications that emerged at the topof the final rankings — two per adoption horizon — aredetailed in the chapters that follow.Each of those chapters includes detailed descriptions,links to active demonstration projects, and a widearray of additional resources related to the six profiledtechnologies. Those profiles are the heart of the NMCHorizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition, and will
  14. 14. 10 NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education EditionMobile AppsTime-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or LessT here is a revolution that is taking place in collections of apps, and adding to your set is as simple software development that parallels the as it is inexpensive. changes in recent years in the music, publishing, and retail industries. Mass market is giving The app software model is clearly working: ABI research way to niche market, and with it, the era of shows that over 18 billion apps had been downloadedhighly priced large suites of integrated software is in the Apple marketplace by October 2011, and over tengiving way to a new view of what software should be. billion in the Android marketplace by December theSmartphones including the iPhone and Android have same year. Those numbers just scratch the surface ofredefined what we mean by mobile computing, and in the anticipated growth of mobile apps. A recent studythe past three to four years, the small, often simple, by Distimo predicted that 44 billions apps will havelow cost software extensions to these devices — apps been downloaded by 2016 — or, around seven apps per— have become a hotbed of development. New tools person across the entire population of the earth.are free or sell for as little as 99 cents, and anyonecan be a developer. A popular app can see millions of The assortment of available apps is wide-ranging, fromdownloads in a short time, and that potential market those that extend the camera or sensors on the devicehas spawned a flood of creativity that is instantly (“Siesmometer”, “Hipstamatic,” and “360”); to new formsapparent in the extensive collections available in the of newspapers and magazines (“McSweeny’s”); to gamesapp stores — themselves a new way of delivering that make use of gestures in clever ways (“Angry Birds”);software that reduces distribution and marketing to new forms of mapping tools (“StarWalk”); to appscosts significantly. Apple’s app store opened in July that make restaurant recommendations based on the2008; Google’s followed in October of that year. Since user’s location (“Urbanspoon”). What makes apps as athen, simple but useful apps have found their way into category interesting are two key factors: the first is thatalmost every form of human endeavor. there are so many to choose from — one can find an app to support almost any interest or endeavor, and theOverview possibilities expand every day. The second is that theyWith the advent of mobile apps, the way we think about are inexpensive — rare is an app on someone’s mobilesoftware itself is changing, and whole industries are that costs more than $1.99. Taken together, the resultadjusting to a new world in which sophisticated but is that it is both easy and economical to completelysimple tools routinely sell for 99 cents. In contrast with customize a device to suit one’s own interests.the model for desktop applications that stack featureupon feature in a one-size-fits-all approach, mobile The best apps are tightly integrated with the capabilitiesapps are small, simple, and elegant. They generally of the device itself, using location data, motiondo one thing, or a small list of tightly related things, detection, gestures, access to social networks, and webextraordinarily well. They cost so little, trial versions are search, to seamlessly create a full-featured experience.unnecessary, and it is simple to outfit a tablet or mobile As just one example, users are now able to not onlyphone with exactly the feature set you want for far read an article foregrounded because of its relation toless than you would pay for typical desktop software. the user’s location, but also to share it with their socialBoth Apple and Google have developed extensive networks, make comments, swipe over an image to see
  15. 15. Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less 11more, and store specific content to read at a later date video, audio, and imaging. Mobile apps encompass— all within a typical newspaper app. it all, and innovation in mobile device development continues at an unprecedented pace.In the last year, new additions to mobile operatingsystems have made it easier for newspapers, periodicals, The potential of mobile computing is already beingand other subscription-based publications to migrate demonstrated in hundreds of projects at higherto mobile devices. Print and online publications, such education institutions. Since 2009, Abilene Christianas Time, Wired, or Mashable, provide users with new University has provided each student with an iPhonematerial on a regular basis, sometimes sending the or iPod Touch, in addition to offering professorsuser alerts when there is a new edition, breaking news,or a story that is relevant to the user’s interests. Mobileapps designed for tablets have given many traditionalprint-based publications a new life, and new tools, such The mobile app marketplace reflectsas iBook Author, are making it very easy for anyoneto create and publish media-rich interactive pieces. an expanding world of resources thatThe newest version of iBook is optimized for viewinginteractive textbooks, and it seems that the e-readers fits into the palm of a hand.for the Kindle and Android platforms are heading the mobile training and support. The institution has beensame direction. developing apps to extend learning outside of the classroom and documenting the results along the wayThe mobile app marketplace reflects an expanding in an annual mobile learning study. At the most basicworld of resources that fits into the palm of a hand. level, many universities and colleges have developedWhile the adoption of apps has been especially map and directory apps for current students to navigateapparent in the consumer sector, there has also been a campuses and for prospective students to take virtualgreat interest in apps that illustrate scientific and related tours or to enhance physical tours.concepts via tools that also have practical application.Apps that support learning are commonplace. Fun, As institutions begin to understand the potential ofeasy-to-use tools can be found for budding chefs, apps, they have built in features for students to checkastronomers, physicists, artists, musicians, book lovers, their grades, or to update them with sports scores orand writers — and all of them are designed to go with breaking campus news. Ohio State University’s mobileyou anywhere and to be available with a tap on a screen. app includes a campus directory, plus library resourcesThe higher education sector is beginning to capitalize and personal information that is tied to each student’son this by integrating mobile apps into the curriculum ID. Higher education institutions have also beenand designing their own to encompass course materials designing apps that enhance the classroom learningand campus maps. experience. The University of Warwick in the UK created an app that quizzes medical students on the humanRelevance for Teaching, Learning, or anatomy and various laboratory scenarios using videoCreative Inquiry and audio clips.Mobile apps embody the convergence of severaltechnologies that lend themselves to educational use, While institutions are rapidly developing their own apps,including annotation tools, applications for creation they are also making use of external ones. Popular appsand composition, and social networking tools. GPS include those that help students and educators stayand compasses allow sophisticated location and organized and exchange their findings and ideas withpositioning, accelerometers and motion sensors enable peers. Many apps, when coupled with digital textbooks,the apps to be designed and used in completely new ease the transition for students who are accustomedways, digital capture and editing bring rich tools for to print books. For example, “Good Reader” is an app
  16. 16. 12 NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Editionthat enables users to highlight, annotate, sketch, and organized outlines in addition to attaching notesadd footnotes to e-books — just as they would in the to specific topics or automatically arranging themprint version. “JotNot Pro” is another app that allows based on common themes. The app has built in socialprofessors to digitally distribute course documents and features that allow students to share their projectstudents to instantly scan printed documents and store plans with each other. on their device. > University Services. Professor Catheryn Cheal atAs mobile apps become an important fixture in the Oakland University, Michigan sends her students tobusiness world, many universities and colleges have five specific campus locations with the “SCVNGR” appdeployed special courses and programs to teach on their smartphones. They answer questions aboutstudent entrepreneurs how to design, develop, and visual rhetorical space into their phone at each them. Vanderbilt University founded the Once back in the classroom, they have the backgroundVanderbilt Mobile Application Team in 2009 to prepare to write their essays in a learning management system. their students for high technology jobs. Since the group founded, participating students have developedthree award-winning apps. All of their work is open Mobile Apps in Practicesource, and can be used as a learning model at other The following links provide examples of mobile apps ininstitutions. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a use in higher education settings:faculty associate in the School of Journalism and MassCommunication has incorporated app development Berkley Mobile International Collaborativeinto her magazine publishing class, recognizing that devices are taking on a prominent role in the In the Berkeley Mobile International Collaborative,magazine industry. student-created mobile apps will be judged based on business model and utility, with ten finalist universityThe increasing availability of network access means teams competing in Barcelona.that the growing capabilities of mobiles are available tomore students in more locations each year. Educational The Cleveland Historical Appinstitutions around the world are investing in the that supports mobile access, sponsoring “Cleveland Historical” is an interactive and GPS-enabledprograms that provide devices to students who do not app, providing historical information on specific sitesalready have them, and commissioning custom mobile within the city in the form of images, audio, and videoapplications to serve their communities. clips. “Cleveland Historical” is curated by the Center for Public History and Digital Humanities with storiesA sampling of applications of mobile apps across contributed from community members, teachers,disciplines includes the following: professors, and students.> Multimedia Production. Students in the iPrinceton Instructional Systems program at Penn State University are developing a mobile video app for Princeton University’s free “iPrinceton” app enables users video ethnographers to record and annotate video in to catch up on athletic and academic news, browse a the field. The app allows users to add, edit, and delete full library catalog, and connect to the university’s social text annotations displayed alongside the video media pages. The app also connects with Blackboard for footage. direct course support at any point.> Project Management. Using the mobile app “MindJet,” students can create mind maps and
  17. 17. Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less 13Stanford University’s iPhone and iPad Apps Course How to Build a University Mobile Application: Practice and InsightLectures and slides from Stanford’s iPhone and iPad development course can now be freely (Karen Eustice, The Guardian, 8 December 2011.) Thisaccessed online through iTunes U. The appearance article compares the different avenues universitiesof the course material made iTunes history with one are taking in creating and updating their mobile apps,million downloads by the seventh week. showing the efficiency and reasoning behind each option from the developer’s perspective.The University of Michigan’s Mobile Apps Smartphones on Campus: the Search for ‘Killer’ AppsUniversity of Michigan’s Mobile Apps Center brings instruction and app building resources to (Jeffrey R. Young, The Chronicle of Higher Education,allow students and faculty to create and distribute 8 May 2011.) There is no one size fits all app becauseuseful apps to the U-M community. diversity in professors and courses leads to mobile apps being used in varying degrees and manners. ThisUniversity of Virginia iPhone and Android Apps article explores different examples of apps professors and students, and how they are providingThe University of Virginia has developed its campus app links from the classroom to the community.through WillowTree apps. Augmented reality featuresallow users to personalize their maps. The app has many Taking Mobile Applications Into the Cloudcomponents useful for alumni too, allowing them to sporting events live and easily connect with UVA (Mary Grush, Campus Technology, 31 August 2011.)clubs and contacts. Because mobile devices are limited in their capabilities, researchers are looking to resource-rich cloud-basedFor Further Reading services that, when integrated with mobile apps, willThe following articles and resources are recommended expand the depth of information mobile phones canfor those who wish to learn more about mobile apps: access and the range of their function.7 Things You Should Know about Mobile App University Leverages Mobile App to Keep StudentsDevelopment, 19 April 2011.) This guide provides (Jeff Goldman, Mobile Enterprise, 17 October 11.) Thishigher education institutions with helpful information article on Indiana State University’s mobile app poweredto take into consideration when building an app, by Pryxis Mobile describes the challenges and decisionsincluding accessibility standards and enterprise system that were a part of the app building process, as well asintegration opportunities. marketing and monitoring the finished product.Can the iPhone Save Higher Education? Cox, NetworkWorld, 23 March 2010.) Exploring theeffect of digital devices for teaching and learning, AbileneChristian University has focused on mobile phones andhow they are changing the classroom. The lecturer tostudent model is becoming a more collaborative andinteractive model, now that instructors and studentshave ubiquitous and equal access to information.
  18. 18. 14 NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education EditionTablet ComputingTime-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or LessI n the past year, advances in tablet computers have Immensely portable, tablets are already a significant captured the imagination of educators around the distribution element for magazines and e-books. iOS world. Led by the incredible success of the iPad, 5 even includes a newsstand that allows quick and which in the fourth quarter of 2011 was selling easy access to newspapers and magazines and new at the rate of more than 3 million units a month, subscriptions — with a mere touch. Even withoutother similar devices such as the Samsung Galaxy and extending their functionality via the full range ofSony’s Tablet S have also begun to enter this rapidly mobile apps, tablets serve as nicely sized video playersgrowing new market. In the process, tablets (a form with instant access to an enormous library of content;that is distinct from tablet PCs) have come to be viewed digital readers for books, magazines, and newspapers;as not just a new category of mobile devices, but real-time two-way video phones; easily sharable photoindeed a new technology in its own right — one that viewers and even cameras; fast, easy email and webblends features of laptops, smartphones, and earlier browsers; and rich, full-featured game platforms —tablet computers with always-connected Internet, all in a slim, lightweight, portable package that fits inand thousands of apps with which to personalize a purse or briefcase — but which significantly omitsthe experience. As these new devices have become a traditional keyboard. That design choice, and themore used and understood, it is clear that they are implications it brings for interacting with the device, is aindependent and distinct from other mobile devices key reason that tablets are not a new kind of lightweightsuch as smartphones, e-readers, or tablet PCs. With laptop, but rather a completely new computing device.significantly larger screens and richer gestured-basedinterfaces than their smartphone predecessors, they When the iPad was introduced, it was described as a “leanare ideal tools for sharing content, videos, images, back” experience as contrasted to the “lean forward”and presentations because they are easy for anyone experience of typical computers. While second marketto use, visually compelling, and highly portable. and wireless keyboards are available for tablets, the real innovation in these devices is in how they are used. AOverview swipe, a tap, or a pinch allows the user to interact withLed by the category-defining phenomenon that is the the device in completely new ways that are so intuitiveApple iPad, tablets have earned their own listing in the and simple they require no manuals or instructions. TheNMC Horizon Report this year, completely distinct from device itself encourages exploration of its capabilities,mobiles. According to a recent study from comScore, something easily demonstrated by simply placing thethe iPad now accounts for 97% of all tablet-based device in the hands of a small child. For times when aweb traffic in the U.S. and 46.8% of all mobile web keyboard is needed, a custom-configured softwaretraffic. Similar statistics show tablets are increasingly keyboard appears, but the best-designed apps makethe device of choice not just for web browsing, but little or no use of it.also social networking and reading news. Competingmodels, including Motorola’s Xoom and Samsung’s Screen technology has advanced to the point thatGalaxy Tab have not yet enjoyed the success of the iPad, tablets are exceptionally effective at displaying visualbut together, these companies have solidified tablets as content, such as photographs, books, and video; similarthe new family of devices to watch. advances in gesture-based computing have moved
  19. 19. Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less 15tablets far beyond the point and click capabilities of More and more institutions are providing their studentstouchscreens, and tablets are engaging and intuitive with iPad devices that come pre-loaded with coursedevices to use. These combinations of features are materials, digital textbooks, and other helpful resources.especially enticing to educational institutions at all Under the Griffin Technology Advantage at Seton Hilllevels, and many K-12 institutions are considering University, for example, all full-time students receive antablets as a cost-effective alternative to the netbook iPad 2. Similarly, the University of Southern Mississippiwhen planning a one-to-one deployment. In these is piloting up to 1,000 Galaxy Tab 10.1 devices thatand other group settings, their large screens — and will be issued to students, loaded with Blackboardthe ease with which the image automatically adjusts Mobile™ Learn. Students and professors, sharing theits orientation to the viewer — make it easy to share same hardware and software, will experience and sharecontent. audio, video, and other learning materials.Perhaps the most interesting aspect of tablets is that Because these types of tablet programs are relativelythey owe their heritage not to the desktop, but to the new, many universities and colleges are conductingmobile phone. Both iOS and Android-based tablets in depth studies to measure their outcomes. Studiesare designed with the app model firmly in mind, and including those at Abilene Christian University,hundreds of thousands of specialized apps are available Oberlin College, the Missouri University of Science andto extend the functionality of tablets. Apps for tablets Technology, and many others have generally foundhave many features in common with mobile apps,such as seamless use of location awareness, networkconnections, and other built-in sensors, but the largerscreen real estate allows for more detailed interfaces Because of their portability, largeor viewing area. Also similar to smartphone apps, appsfor tablets are inexpensive and very easy to add to the display, and touchscreen, tabletsdevice, using the same tools and online stores. are ideal devices for one-to-oneRelevance for Teaching, Learning, or learning, as well as fieldwork.Creative InquiryBecause of their portability, large display, and that integrating tablets into the curriculum has led totouchscreen, tablets are ideal devices for one-to-one increased student engagement and has enhancedlearning, as well as fieldwork. Many institutions are learning experiences. However, higher educationbeginning to rely on them in place of cumbersome institutions are just beginning to delve into morelaboratory equipment, video equipment, and various research surrounding some of the many potential usesother expensive tools that are not nearly as portable or of tablets, including the replacement of print textbooksas inexpensive to replace. with e-books, the wide use of specialized apps, the expanded use of the devices’ built-in sensors, GPS,For example, the iPad has become an integral instrument gesture interface, cameras, video and audio tools, andin the cadaver laboratories at the University of California, more.Irvine. Images of body structures and radiographic filmscan be easily explored and manipulated on-screen, and With their growing number of features, tablets giveapps such as “Epocrates Essentials” provide a mobile traction to other educational technologies — fromdrug and disease reference at students’ fingertips (go. facilitating the real-time data mining needed to ). Similarly, Duke University has been learning analytics to offering a plethora of game-basedexploring the use of the iPad as an efficient way to learning apps. What makes tablets so powerful is thatcollect global health research ( students already use these or very similar devices outside the classroom to download apps, connect
  20. 20. 16 NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Editionto their social networks, and immerse themselves in iPad Makes Wall Street Debutinformal learning experiences. As such, students are quite comfortable using them in both academic During Drew University’s Wall Street Semester program,and social settings. students will be equipped with an iPad and apps that access and interpret financial information. Conveniently,A sampling of tablet computing applications across students can read course materials on their iPads insteaddisciplines includes the following: of carrying books, and digitally compose documents, spreadsheets, and presentations.> Chemistry. In organic chemistry laboratories at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, wall- The iPad Replaces University Textbooks mounted iPads are equipped with a kiosk app to deliver video reviews of the lab techniques most The University of Adelaide will replace textbooks needed by the students. Students also use the with Apple iPads for first year students in its Science iPads throughout the chemistry courses to clarify program. The University sees this as a way to allow the experiment set-up and answer other procedural evolution of student learning environments to augment questions. individual student growth.> Lecture Capture. Tablet apps, such as McGraw Hill’s Solar-Powered iPad Devices “Tegrity,” are used by the University of Colorado, Georgia Tech University, Fordham Law School, and In partnership with Apple, the Zimbabwe government is many others as a campus-wide solution for recording bringing solar-powered iPad devices to rural institutions and deploying class lectures. across Africa that have not had consistent — or any — computer access in the past due to lack of electricity.> Mathematics. As a collaborative project between the math support centers at three universities — University of Dayton Undergraduate Viewbook Swinburne in Australia, Limerick in Ireland, and Loughborough in the UK — “MathsCasts” are videos The free University of Dayton Viewbook app gives of mathematical explanations recorded by writing on potential undergraduate students a virtual orientation a tablet. They cover topics with which undergraduate to the school using video content, slideshows, and students typically struggle. All “MathsCasts” carry a interactive feeds to explore academic facilities, Creative Commons license and are available for free programs, opportunities and student life. on the Swinburne website and on iTunes U. go.nmc. org/igmlf Valparaiso College of Engineering Releases iPad App> Writing. Designed and developed by the University Recent Valparaiso University graduates have developed of Queensland, UQMarkup is an iPad app developed a new interactive digital magazine for the iPad that to facilitate the integration of contextualized audio incorporates videos and photo galleries into stories so and written feedback in student writing assessments. that students, faculty, alumni and anyone interested can The feedback from the app is personalized, and the connect to news and happenings within the College of responses are provided in a short, fixed and easily Engineering. understood format. For Further ReadingTablet Computing in Practice The following articles and resources are recommendedThe following links provide examples of tablet for those who wish to learn more about tabletcomputing in use in higher education settings: computing:
  21. 21. Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less 176 Reasons Tablets are Ready for the Classroom Kindle Fire: Changing the Game in Higher Education? Madan, Mashable, 16 May 2011.) This article (Vineet Madan, Geek Wire, 15 November 2011.) Thisexplores the applications of tablet computers in higher article measures the new Kindle Fire to its competitor,education, based on reports from classrooms that have the iPad, citing that the smaller screen of the Kindle Fireparticipated in pilot studies, citing that iPads fit with is the main shortcoming of the device for educationalstudents’ current lifestyles. purposes, since students are looking to use the device to read and access multimedia, such as images andThe B-School Case Study Gets a Digital Makeover Zlomek, Bloomberg Business Week, 25 July 2011.)This article demonstrates how tablets allow students a Tablets have come to be viewedconvenient way to access and interact with the manybusiness case studies that are a core part of businessschool curriculum. as not just a new category ofCampus Tour Now Comes with an iPad mobile devices, but indeed a S. Cohen, Chicago Tribune, 9 October 2011.) technology in its own right — oneBradley University is now distributing iPads duringcampus tours so that when prospective students are that blends features of laptops,shown areas of the campus, they can also watch videosof events that have taken place there throughout the smartphones, and earlier tabletyear. Seeing laboratories and lecture halls in use givesstudents an understanding of what busy campus computers with always-connectedlife will be like, even when touring during holidays orsummer months. Internet, and thousands of apps withEducators Evaluate Learning Benefits of iPad which to personalize the Quillen, Education Week, 15 June 2011.) This articlediscusses the use of iPad devices as learning tools, anddelves into the ongoing discourse about whether theyare more viable for one-to-one solutions or as part of agroup of shared devices.An iPad University: Giving It the Old College Groeger, Wired, 22 July 2011.) The University ofSouthern California has teamed up with TouchAppMediaand 2tor, Inc. to create an online distance learningexperience fully accessible with an iPad or mobiledevice, featuring social integrations like video chat withclassmates and sharing notes and ideas on course wallsand forums.
  22. 22. 18 NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education EditionGame-Based LearningTime-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three YearsG ame-based learning has gained considerable and appealing to players of various ages and of both traction since 2003, when James Gee began to genders: the feeling of working toward a goal; the describe the impact of game play on cognitive possibility of attaining spectacular successes; the ability development. Since then, research, and interest to problem solve, collaborate with others, and socialize; in, the potential of gaming on learning has an interesting story line; and other characteristics. Theseexploded, as has the diversity of games themselves, qualities are replicable for educational content, thoughwith the emergence of serious games as a genre, the they can be difficult to design well. This challenge isproliferation of gaming platforms, and the evolution of one reason why game-based learning continues to begames on mobile devices. Developers and researchers placed on the mid-term horizon.are working in every area of game-based learning,including games that are goal-oriented; social game In the most recent National Education Technology Plan,environments; non-digital games that are easy to gaming was named as an ideal method of assessingconstruct and play; games developed expressly for student knowledge comprehension, citing the abilityeducation; and commercial games that lend themselves of games to provide immediate performance feedbackto refining team and group skills. Role-playing, to the players. Students are engaged because theycollaborative problem solving, and other forms of are motivated to do better, get to the next level, andsimulated experiences are recognized for having broad succeed. Proponents also underscore the productiveapplicability across a wide range of disciplines. role of play, which allows for experimentation, the exploration of identities, and even failure.OverviewAccording to Trip Wire Magazine, 61.9 million people In recent years, the Serious Games movement hasparticipated in online social games in 2011, up nearly focused on uniting significant educational content9 million people from 2010. Forty percent of these with play. The games within this genre layer socialgamers are between the ages of 20 and 34. The average issues or problems with game play, helping playersage of the American gamer is now 35-years-old, which gain a new perspective through active engagement.correlates with the early 1980s timeline in which the first Research shows that players readily connect withdigital games appeared with the first home computers. learning material when doing so will help them achieveTen years later, the web was born, and games began to personally meaningful goals. Purdue University’sbe delivered over the Internet. The three most recent Serious Games Center is just one of the many programscohorts of children — those born in the early 1980s, dedicated to conducting research and finding newthe early 1990s, and the early 2000s — have grown up means of collaboration with Serious Games in virtualin a world where digital games have always been an environments.important part of their lives, and entered or graduatedfrom higher education institutions with hundreds of Another area of gaming that is increasingly interestinghours of gaming experience. for higher education institutions is simulation-based games. Militaries worldwide have adopted games andEarly studies of consumer games helped to identify the simulations across the entire range of skills trainingaspects of games that make them especially engaging they provide, and the game-design insights from that
  23. 23. Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years 19tremendous body of work are beginning to inform solutions. The ideas players have proposed havesimulations designed for graduate students studying earned them opportunities to put their proposals intoand training in specific subjects including medicine. practice through internships with social innovators and“Emergency Room: Code Red” is one such popular business leaders around the world, and scholarshipsgame. or funding for their own ventures. Stanford University created “Septris,” an HTML5 mobile simulation gameThe 2011 edition of this report viewed massively that teaches practicing physicians and nurses aboutmultiplayer online (MMO) games as still a few years Sepsis (blood poisoning) identification, triage, andfurther out for learning, but increasingly interesting. management. Learners play the part of a physicianThis year, there has been more traction surrounding thisgenre of gaming. Online games including “Minecraft”and “World of Warcraft” have been integrated into Proponents underscore thecourse curriculum, with educators and educationaltechnology writers frequently documenting theirstories and outcomes. This type of game brings many productive role of play, which allowsplayers together to work on activities that requirecollaborative problem solving. They are complex, and for experimentation, the explorationinclude solo and group content, as well as goals thattie to a storyline or theme. Their link to education exists of identities, and even the highest levels of interaction in which game-play managing patients as their health deteriorates. Learnersrequires teamwork, leadership, and discovery. read history, order labs, and assign treatments to multiple patients at a time.Relevance for Teaching, Learning, orCreative Inquiry The browser-based game “Ikariam” simulates life inGame-based learning reflects a number of important ancient civilizations, and players learn about economicsskills higher education institutions strive for their and civic responsibility by building up the economy andstudents to acquire: collaboration, problem solving, caring for the residents on virtual islands. Some highercommunication, critical thinking, and digital literacy. education institutions are taking the incorporationWhat makes educational gaming appealing today is of socially aware games a step further and designingthe plethora of genres and applications associated with entire courses around them. St. Edward’s Universityit. From role-playing games to online social games to recently launched a pilot section of a required Culturalentire courses created around teaching better game Foundations course with an emphasis on the use ofdesign, aspects of game mechanics are well integrated social media and experiential learning higher education curriculum. Their “Global Social Problems” course was designed using “heroic gaming” strategies. All course activitiesGames related specifically to course content help were rooted in a common set of heroic values and werestudents gain a fresh perspective on material and represented as “character traits” on each student’s profile.can potentially engage them in that content in morecomplex and nuanced ways. Alternate reality games Open-ended, challenge-based, truly collaborative(ARGs), in which players find clues and solve puzzles games are an emerging category of games that seemsin experiences that blur the boundary between the especially appropriate for higher education. Games likegame and real life, offer a clear example in which course these, which occur in both online and non-digital forms,content and game play can overlap. Recent examples can draw on skills for research, writing, collaboration,of large-scale ARGs include Jane McGonigal’s “EVOKE,” problem solving, public speaking, leadership, digitala social networking game that simulates real global literacy, and media-making. When embedded in theissues to empower people to find new and innovative curriculum, they offer a path into the material that allows
  24. 24. 20 NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education Edition the student to learn how to learn along with mastering compares the student’s performance to that of a the subject matter. These games lend themselves to professional musician. curricular content, requiring students to discover and construct knowledge in order to solve problems. They > Online Learning. Students in an Adult Education are challenging to design well, but the results can be undergraduate online course at the University of transformative. British Columbia are participating in a role-playing game, in which they are reporters who are writing The challenge that persists with educational games articles for an imaginary journal called Adult Educator — a good indicator of why they still reside on the mid- Weekly. They also post comments as “readers” and term horizon — is embedding traditional educational vote for the best article. The results showed that the students posted more in the journal than they used to in LMS discussion forums., challenge-based, truly > Science. “MicroExplorer3D,” developed by Northcollaborative games are an emerging Carolina State University, provides an avenue for students who do not have access to a microscopycategory of games that seems lab to learn the parts of a compound microscope. Students interact with the 3D model of a compoundespecially appropriate for higher microscope by clicking (web) or touching (mobile), zoom into detailed views of the parts, and openeducation. menu items and descriptions with photograph and video examples. content so that it looks and feels a natural part of playing the game. Faculty members may find it difficult Game-Based Learning in Practice to make pronounced connections between specific The following links provide examples of game-based course content and the gaming objectives. What is learning in use in higher education settings: known, however, is that these games spark interest in students to expand their learning outside of the game. 3D GameLab Constance Steinkuehler, for example, founding fellow of the Games+Learning+Society Initiative, found that Developed by Boise State University, 3D GameLab is the average MMO gamer spends 10-15 hours per week a unique quest-based learning platform that can turn conducting online research related to the game. Digital any classroom into a living game. 3D GameLab helps and communication literacy goes hand in hand with teachers tie innovative learning activities to standards, game play, which is why it continues to be of great providing learners choice while they game their way interest to educators. through a competency-based curriculum. A sampling of applications of game-based learning Cycles of Your Cognitive Learning, Expectations, across disciplines includes the following: and Schema > Music. In McGill University’s “Open Orchestra” A University at Albany research team is developing a simulation game, a workstation uses high definition video game that will show people negative aspects of panoramic video and surround sound to provide their own decision-making processes, specifically when musicians with the experience of playing in an they are confronted with incomplete information and orchestra or singing in an opera. A touchscreen in the operating under time pressure. music stand displays an electronic version of the score and the system controls, as well as a visualization that
  25. 25. Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years 21GAMeS Lab at Radford University to successfully incorporate gaming into university college curriculum, underscoring that game-basedThe purpose of the Games, Animation, Modeling and learning is not a solution for all subjects and that gamesSimulation (GAMeS) Lab at Radford University is to are no quick fix, but take research and classroom testingdesign interactive mobile games and study their impact by the educator to ascertain their success.on student engagement and learning. The GAMeS Labhas designed iPod Touch and iPad games for schools in Games and Learning: Teaching as Designingrural, southwestern Virginia, and is collaborating with participating educators to determine how best to (James Gee, The Huffington Post, 21 April 2011.) Jamesintegrate these games within the existing curricula. Gee builds a case for games as catalysts for more interaction, creativity, and critical thinking in learning.Meet the Earthwork Builders He likens gamers to designers as they must the “rule system” to be successful.Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities,a team of content specialists and game developers is Games in the Librarymaking a video game prototype about the Newark, an ancient lunar observatory in Newark, (Anastasia Salter, The Chronicle of Higher Education,Ohio. Through the game, players will learn about the 13 December 2011.) This article takes a logisticallunar observatory and gain a more global understanding perspective to game-based learning, focusing on theof different cultures. difficulty of disseminating a gaming experience to a large classroom of varying students, and proposing thatSciEthics Interactive a game library is a good option to provide access information as well as to track inventory.This project, funded by HP and the National ScienceFoundation, is designed to create virtual simulations with A Neurologist Makes the Case for the Video Gamea science and ethics focus. Upper level undergraduate Model as a Learning Tooland graduate students can experience real world in the safety of a virtual environment. (Judy Willis, Edutopia, 14 April 2011.) The neurologist behind this article equates the success of game-basedsimSchool learning with the release of dopamine, a response to a prosperous choice or action, and outlinesA flight simulator for teachers, simSchool provides the phases of this natural learning process.challenging teaching scenarios that develop theknowledge and skills needed for classroom success. What Does Game-Based Learning Offer HigherResearch has indicated that training time on the Education?simulator makes a significant difference in a teacher’s and sense of the focus of control. (Justin Marquis,, 14 October 2011.) This article explores the benefits of gaming atFor Further Reading the university level by breaking down a hypothesisThe following articles and resources are recommended by game designer, Jane McGonigal, which recognizesfor those who wish to learn more about game-based specific positive attributes of gamers that can translatelearning: to productivity in the classroom and beyond.5 Teaching Tips for Professors — From Video R. Young, The Chronicle of Higher Education, 24January 2010.) This article shares best practices on how
  26. 26. 22 NMC Horizon Report: 2012 Higher Education EditionLearning AnalyticsTime-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three YearsL earning analytics refers to the interpretation of Learning analytics was featured in the NMC Horizon a wide range of data produced by and gathered Report: 2011 Higher Education Edition on the far-term on behalf of students in order to assess academic horizon. This year, largely because of a major initiative progress, predict future performance, and spot focused on its refinement, the topic has been moved potential issues. Data are collected from explicit to the mid-term horizon, and is poised to make thestudent actions, such as completing assignments and transition from concept to practice. In 2010, EDUCAUSEtaking exams, and from tacit actions, including online announced a major program in partnership with thesocial interactions, extracurricular activities, posts on Gates Foundation under the Next Generation Learningdiscussion forums, and other activities that are not Initiative that identified learning analytics as one ofdirectly assessed as part of the student’s educational five key areas for development. That same year, the HPprogress. The goal of learning analytics is to enable Catalyst Initiative established the Measuring Learningteachers and schools to tailor educational opportunities Consortium, led by Carnegie Mellon University, in whichto each student’s level of need and ability in close-to- several large-scale international learning analyticsreal time. Learning analytics promises to harness the projects are working towards common solutions. Thesepower of advances in data mining, interpretation, projects, and others located at a number of higherand modeling to improve understandings of teaching education institutions, are driving not only the scienceand learning, and to tailor education to individual behind learning analytics, but also interest. As thestudents more effectively. Still in its early stages, science and technical aspects of learning analytics arelearning analytics responds to calls for accountability solved, one can expect to see significant developmenton campuses and aims to leverage the vast amount of activity as campuses begin to implement learningdata produced by students in academic activities. analytics strategies. Overview This interest has not escaped large publishers, such asAt its heart, learning analytics is about analyzing the McGraw Hill (“Connect”) and Pearson (“MyLabs”), whowealth of information about students in a way that have begun to establish their own learning analyticswould allow schools to make informed adjustments solutions and have hired dedicated employees whoseto a student’s learning experience, drawing on new job is to provide learning analytics expertise as theways of observing patterns in complex data. This emerging technology evolves. The initial focus ofsort of intervention is not new — school counselors these efforts is on integration with existing learningand student services professionals have long used management systems (LMS). Several researchersinformation such as student attendance records, grades, feel that this is a necessary part of a comprehensiveteacher observations, test scores, and the like to identify solution, but is insufficient. To move learning analyticsat-risk students. Learning analytics builds on this forward, many would argue that analytics must includeheritage, but aims to go much further than these tried more than LMS data. Other factors, such as the impactand true strategies, merging information from disparate of the learning environment (especially online, butsources to create a far more robust and nuanced picture also physical environments), knowledge gained viaof learning as it happens that can be used to improve informal learning, and metrics on skills includingboth teaching and learning environments. creativity, leadership, and innovation are seen as