Release of Irish Horizon Report for Higher Education

H Report

Ireland’s first Horizon Report for Higher Education was formally launched last Friday at the Irish Learning Technology Association Conference (ILTA) at the University of Limerick. The report featured prominently throughout the conference, with Jim Devine helping to contextualise the study in the broader European context in his opening address, and Alex Freeman from New Media Consortium (NMC) describing the main findings on Friday in his keynote.

H Report Table

A feature of the report is the contrast with the recently published Australian and International reports for Higher Education. As the above table shows there are some notable differences between the reports, with under-resourced institutional infrastructure a key finding of the Irish report.

Irish Times

The report also featured in a story by the Irish Times, with particular reference to the need for greater investment in infrastructure, the current inequitable funding model and the need for educators to adopt new pedagogies in order to exploit the affordances of new digital technologies.

The previous Monday the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) hosted a pre-launch event where Dr Larry Johnson, CEO New Media Consortium, shared the main findings and facilitated a brief workshop with an audience of invited guests. He stressed importantly that the Horizon Report does not predict the future and simply offers another ‘futures tool’ for institutional leaders and policy-makers to discuss and plan for their preferred futures. Notably, the Report links to the Roadmap for Enhancement in a Digital World for Irish Higher Education along with recent European reports promoting the current modernisation agenda. It also acknowledges the value of comparing and contrasting the findings with other major publications such as the annual Innovating Pedagogy Report produced by the Educational Technology team at the UK Open University.

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The Horizon Report has its critics and the sample selection and methodology for the Irish report was adapted to ensure the greatest possible diversity amongst the expert panel, including a mix of experienced, and new and emerging educators. Approximately 70 Irish educators across every university and institute of technology were invited to participate on the panel and almost 50 people volunteered to contributed to the final report. In the context of Dublin City University (DCU), and the current Incorporation Project, it was noteworthy that the panel included specialist academic and administrative staff from across the University and linked Colleges.

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The intention over the next few months is to workshop the findings with institutions wishing to think more deeply about the impact of new technology-enhanced models of teaching and learning on higher education. Accordingly, please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to host a workshop in your own region or institution.

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Finally, we would like to thank everyone who contributed to the Horizon Report project since the beginning of the year, especially panel members. The full press release produced by NMC supporting the launch of the Horizon Report appears below.

NMC, NIDL, and ILTA Release the 2015 NMC Technology Outlook for Higher Education in Ireland

Limerick, Ireland (May 28, 2015) — The New Media Consortium (NMC), the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) at Dublin City University, and the Irish Learning Technology Association (ILTA) are releasing the 2015 NMC Technology Outlook for Higher Education in Ireland at the 2015 EdTech Conference at the University of Limerick. This inaugural Ireland edition describes findings from the NMC Horizon Project, an ongoing research project designed to identify and describe emerging technologies likely to have an impact on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry.

Ten key trends, ten significant challenges, and twelve important developments in technology are identified across three adoption horizons over the next five years, giving Irish higher education leaders, decision-makers, and practitioners a valuable guide for strategic technology planning. The report helps to provide these leaders with indepth insight into how the trends and challenges are accelerating and impeding the adoption of educational technology for higher education institutions in Ireland.

“Ireland’s role in Europe and in the world as a critical hub for technological development and innovation continues to grow in importance and influence,” says Larry Johnson, Chief Executive Officer of the NMC. “I think it is an extremely timely moment for a report that looks at the ways Irish universities and institutes of technology are responding in their own uses of technology and where they are heading. The use of digital and hybrid learning designs are increasing across Ireland, and it is clear that Irish institutions are looking forward to a technology-enhanced future that will play out in more effective and engaging learning across the entire country. We believe this new report from the NMC, NIDL, and ILTA will be a significant catalyst for strategic planning and high-level discussions at universities and colleges that will spur even more campus and off-campus innovation in teaching and learning.”

“Our collaboration with the ILTA and NMC is a strong step toward promoting more strategic conversations about future models of teaching and learning in Irish higher education,” said Professor Mark Brown, Director for the NIDL. “Drawn from the collective expertise of leading Irish educators, this report supports work already underway to help universities and institutes of technology throughout the country to develop a more future-focused strategy for higher education in such rapidly changing times.”

“The 2015 NMC Technology Outlook for Higher Education in Ireland could not be timelier in providing a comparative international evidence-base to inform research, policy and practice in the Irish higher education landscape over the medium term,” says Paul Gormley, Director of ILTA. ”This report offers exciting opportunities to identify commonalities and regional differences in higher education across an increasingly global landscape, and contributes a unique Irish perspective to inform the wider NMC Horizon Project. It is significant that the Expert Panel has identified the development of digital literacies to support the changing roles of staff and students in an increasingly digital age. This is a key enabler in maximising the opportunities for creative and innovative learning opportunities in Irish Higher Education.”

Key Trends Accelerating Educational Technology Adoption in Irish Higher Education

These ten trends are identified as very likely to drive technology planning and decision-making over the next five years, and they were ranked in order of importance by the expert panel, with the first trend listed being deemed the most impactful. The key trends are: “Rethinking the Roles of Educators,” “Increasing Use of Hybrid/Blended Learning Designs,” “Rise of Digital Delivery,” “Shift from Students as Consumers to Students as Creators,” “Growing Focus on Measuring Learning,” “Redesigning Learning Spaces,” “Increase in E-Portfolios Created by Learners,” “Proliferation of Open Educational Resources,” “Advancing Cultures of Change and Innovation,” and “Increasing Preference for Personal Technology.”

Significant Challenges Impeding Educational Technology Adoption in Irish Higher Education

A number of challenges are acknowledged as barriers to the mainstream use of technology in Irish higher education. Because not all challenges are of the same scope, the discussions were framed by three categories defined by the nature of the challenge. The expert panel ranked challenges in order of significance, with the first challenge listed being deemed the most prominent. They are: “Underresourced Campus Infrastructure,” “Scaling Teaching Innovations,” “Improving Digital Literacy,” “Engaging with the Ethical, Privacy, and Ideological Aspects of Learning Analytics,” “Integrating Technology in Faculty Education,” “Creating Authentic Learning Opportunities,” “Blending Formal and Informal Learning,” “Competing Models of Education,” “Keeping Formal Education Relevant,” and “Teaching Complex Thinking.”

Important Developments in Educational Technology in Irish Higher Education

Additionally, the report identifies Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), flipped classroom, mobile learning, and online learning as digital strategies and technologies expected to enter mainstream use in the first horizon of one year or less. Badges/microcredit, games and gamification, learning analytics, and open content are seen in the second horizon of two to three years; adaptive learning technologies, collaborative environments, digital identity, and social networks are seen emerging in the third horizon of four to five years.

The subject matter in this report was identified through a qualitative research process designed and conducted by the NMC that engaged an Irish body of experts in higher education, technology, business, and other fields around a set of research questions designed to surface significant trends and challenges. The Irish expert panel was also asked to identify important development in technology that have a strong likelihood of adoption in Irish universities. The 2015 NMC Technology Outlook for Higher Education in Ireland details the areas in which these experts were in strong agreement.

The 2015 NMC Technology Outlook for Higher Education in Ireland is available online, free of charge, and is released under a Creative Commons license to facilitate its widespread use, easy duplication, and broad distribution.

Download the report at go.nmc.org/2015-ie

Enjoy the Holiday Break and Happy New Year

This is just a brief message wishing everyone a relaxing holiday break and happy New Year. We will be taking a break until early January. In 2015, we look forward to supporting a number of exciting initiatives, including the launch of Ireland’s first Horizon Report for Higher Education (in partnership with the Irish Learning Technology Association), hosting the annual UK/Ireland MoodleMoot, offering a National MOOC Symposium as part of a European funded project, to name a few. We also look forward to a productive year leading and contributing to several projects supported by the National Forum for the Enhanced of Teaching and Learning through the fund for Building Capacity in Digital Learning. Hopefully, 2015 will be a significant year for the future of digital learning in Ireland.

Best wishes for the holiday season

The NIDL Team

Xmas_Celebration

The NIDL Partners with ILTA and NMC for the 2015 NMC Technology Outlook > Ireland Higher Education

The National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) at Dublin City University, the Irish Learning Technology Association (ILTA), and the New Media Consortium (NMC) have launched a collaboration to conduct research and publish a regional analysis that describes the emerging technologies, trends, and challenges that will impact higher education in Ireland. The first ever NMC Horizon Project Ireland will produce the 2015 NMC Technology Outlook > Ireland Higher Education, which will be released in March 2015 and jointly distributed free-of-charge, under a Creative Commons license.

With Dublin-based industry giants such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, LinkedIn, and Houghton Mifflin-Harcourt enhancing Ireland’s reputation as the “Silicon Valley of Europe”, the 2015 NMC Technology Outlook > Ireland Higher Education will highlight technological advances in third level education in Ireland.

The NIDL, ILTA, and NMC have forged this relationship on their shared mission of integrating modern approaches and technologies into teaching and learning. Upon its release, the 2015 NMC Technology Outlook > Ireland Higher Education will become a foundation of research that supports education transformation throughout Ireland.

“Our collaboration with the ILTA and NMC is a strong step toward advancing contemporary models of teaching and learning in Irish higher education,” said Professor Mark Brown, Director for the NIDL. “The findings of this report, drawing on the collective expertise of leading Irish educators, will contribute to better understanding of how to take advantage of state-of-the-art new digital technologies that is based on world-class research.”

“This initiative will contribute a unique Irish perspective to inform the wider NMC Horizon Project by drawing on the experience and insights of national technology-enhanced learning experts” says Paul Gormley, Director of ILTA. “Employing the globally-applied NMC research methodology will offer exciting opportunities to identify commonalities and regional differences in higher education research and practice across an increasingly global landscape. The NIDL, ILTA and NMC collaboration could not be more timely in providing this comparative evidence-base.”

“The NMC’s cooperation with forward-thinking organizations such as the NIDL and ILTA is crucial to identifying which technologies, trends, and challenges are and will be impacting Irish institutions and practice in the next five years,” said NMC Chief Executive Officer, Larry Johnson. “We are looking forward to focusing our lens on Ireland and analyzing the unique technological and learning landscape of Irish universities.”

The report will apply the process developed for the NMC Horizon Project, with a focus on identifying and describing emerging technologies likely to have an impact on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry in universities and colleges across Ireland. Beginning in November 2014, an expert panel of leaders in Irish third-level education will engage in discussions in a collaborative, virtual workspace to determine the top 12 developments in educational technology, along with nine key trends and nine significant challenges that will have the deepest impact on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry over the next five years. These 30 topics will then be further researched and detailed with in-practice examples from Irish institutions and educational programs in the 2015 NMC Technology Outlook > Ireland Higher Education.

To view the expert panel’s progress throughout the project, visit http://ireland.wiki.nmc.org/.

About the National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) at Dublin City University

The National Institute for Digital Learning (NIDL) aims to be a world leader at the forefront of designing, implementing, and evaluating contemporary models of teaching and learning. It has a mission of transforming lives and societies through listening, linking, and leading for a better future. The NIDL is committed to providing strategic leadership, building strong communities of practice, and enabling and contributing to world-class research. It supports a comprehensive suite of professional development opportunities in digital learning, from workshops to advanced postgraduate study. To learn more about the (NIDL), visit: http://dcu.ie/nidl/index.shtml

About the Irish Learning Technology Association (ILTA)

The Irish Learning Technology Association (ILTA) [http://ilta.ie] is an independent voluntary community of professionals committed to the development and exchange of knowledge by sharing expertise and the promotion of best practice in technology-enhanced learning in education. It achieves this by conducting and commissioning national research projects, hosting the annual EdTech national conference, publishing the open access TEL Ireland Journal, and co-sponsoring the Jennifer Burke Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning with DCU. To learn more about the ILTA, visit http://ilta.ie/

 About the New Media Consortium

The New Media Consortium (NMC) is an international not-for-profit consortium of learning-focused organizations committed to the exploration and use of new media and new technologies. For 21 years, the NMC and its members have dedicated themselves to exploring and developing potential applications of emerging technologies for teaching, learning, and creative inquiry. To learn more, visit www.nmc.org