New Horizon Report Highlights Tech Trends Relevant to CVM

One of the most significant annual reports about eLearning comes from the work of the New Media Consortium and EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. The NMC Horizon Report 2016 identifies trends and technology that drive educational change. This year, 18 topics were analyzed as likely to impact higher education. The following are relevant to the eLearning environment and curriculum at the College of Veterinary Medicine.


“A number of researchers and companies are working to design … analytics that reveal patterns in learning-related behaviors to improve learning for individual students as well as across institutions. The kinds of student data being analyzed include institutional information such as student demographics and course selections, pace of program completion, learning platform engagement statistics, and concept mastery.”

At our college, data from ExamSoft, Qualtrics, and Carmen can be used to assess how we teach and how our students learn across the core curriculum and into clinical rotations.

Graphic of New Horizon Report's findings.


“The shift to deeper learning approaches that favor hands-on and student-centered experiences requires institutions to prepare instructors for new roles as guides and mentors …. In order to remain motivated, students need to be able to make clear connections between the curriculum and the real world, and how the new knowledge and skills will impact them. Project-based learning, challenge-based learning, inquiry-based learning, and similar methods are fostering more active learning experiences, both inside and outside the classroom.”
These types of student-centered approaches are often supported by technology and require additional investments by faculty and in faculty development/training. At our college, the Office of Teaching & Learning and key faculty leveraging instructional technology through applications like Case Manager, 3D printing, classroom response systems (clickers, TopHat), and multimedia case studies are committed to making these investments.

“Drawing from best practices in online and face-to-face methods, blended learning is on the rise at universities and colleges …. A publication funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation reviewed 20 studies on blended learning in higher education and reported that blended instruction produced higher academic achievement than exclusively face-to-face and online courses. The report posited that some of the academic gains could be attributed to variables such as additional student time investment, higher volume of instructional content, and learner collaboration.”

The College of Veterinary Medicine’s attention to case-based instructional modules, exploration of online continuing education, and consideration of remediation using technology indicates an understanding of the value that additional instructional content supported by technology brings to learners.

Other topics covered that may be of interested to CVM faculty include planning and development of active learning spaces, using mobile devices for a wide range of teaching and learning activities, adaptive learning, and augmented and virtual reality.

The full New Horizon report can be found here. It includes links to research and best practices articles. If you are interested in discussing or exploring any of the findings, feel free to contact the Office of Teaching & Learning.

Citation: Johnson, L., Adams Becker, S., Cummins, M., Estrada, V., Freeman, A., and Hall, C. (2016). NMC Horizon Report: 2016 Higher Education Edition. Austin, Texas: The New Media Consortium.

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