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DLAC 2020 - State Of The Nation: K-12 e-Learning In Canada

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Barbour, M. K., & LaBonte, R. (2020, February). State of the nation: K-12 e-learning in Canada. A poster presentation at the Digital Learning Annual Conference, Austin, TX.

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DLAC 2020 - State Of The Nation: K-12 e-Learning In Canada

  1. 1. Introduction In the introduction to the 2006 worldwide survey of departments of education the North American Council for Online Learning (later the International Association for K-12 Online Learning or iNACOL) indicated that “research has been done on several virtual schools in North America; however, little information is available about current K-12 e-learning initiatives across the world” (Powell & Patrick, 2006, p. 1). At the time, based on the literature on K-12 e-learning a slightly revised quote could also have accurately apply to North America – ‘research has been done on several virtual schools in the United States; however, little information is available about current K-12 e-learning initiatives in the rest of North America.’ When the State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada was first published in 2008, the vast majority of literature and research about K-12 e-learning was still focused on the United States. This annual study was the first of many steps that researchers took, and are continuing to take, to address the lack of information about K-12 e-learning in Canada. Materials and methods The goals of this study are to address the following questions: 1. How is K-12 distance, online, and blended learning governed in each province, territory, and federally? 2. What is the level of K-12 distance, online, and blended learning activity occurring in each province, territory, and federally? The methodology utilized to collect the data for the annual study included: • a survey that was sent to each of the Ministries of Education, • follow-up interviews to clarify or expand on any of the responses contained in the survey, • an analysis of documents from the Ministry of Education, often available in online format, and • follow-up interviews with key stakeholders in many of the jurisdictions. In addition to the data collection for the provincial, territorial, and federal profiles, the researchers also undertook an individual program survey that was sent to contacts from all of the K-12 e- learning programs across Canada identified by the researchers. Nature of Regulation Types of Programs Distance & Online Learning Participation Blended Learning Participation Key Takeaways • the data for participation in distance and online learning has been getting better each year • the data for blended learning is unreliable and represents only a poor estimate • Ontario (ON) has the highest number of students participating in distance and online learning, but ON is also the most populated province • British Columbia (BC) has the highest per capita student involvement in distance and online learning • BC and Nova Scotia are the most regulated • BC also has funding policy specific to distributed learning (i.e., distance and online learning) • ON funds e-learning course content and the technology for online access to the courses; but school boards are expected to manage programs • provinces and territories with a smaller K-12 populations (i.e., Northern and Eastern regions) tend to offer centralized provincial programs either run by their Ministry of Education or contracted to a school authority • ON, Saskatchewan, and BC have primarily district based programs; while Québec, Manitoba, and Alberta have a mix of provincial and school district programs • most of the online learning programs have a success or completion rate comparable to regular school programs • blended learning models are becoming more prevalent; either as school-based support for students who are primarily at a distance or as part of a shift for classroom- based teachers to include online courses and tools as part of school-based student’s learning program Michael K. Barbour, Touro University California – mkbarbour@gmail.com Randy LaBonte, Canadian eLearning Network – rlabonte@canelearn.net Recent Reports Barbour, M. K., & LaBonte, R. (2019). State of the nation: K-12 e-learning in Canada. Half Moon Bay, BC: Canadian E-Learning Network. Barbour, M. K., & LaBonte, R. (2019). L’état de l’apprentissage électronique de la maternelle à la 12e année au Canada. Half Moon Bay, BC: Canadian E-Learning Network. Barbour, M. K., & LaBonte, R. (2019). Sense of irony or perfect timing: Examining the research supporting proposed e-learning changes in Ontario. International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education, 34(2). Retrieved from http://www.ijede.ca/index.php/jde/article/view/1137 Barbour, M. K. (2019). E-learning class size. Half Moon Bay, BC: Canadian E-Learning Network. Further information Project Website – https://k12sotn.ca

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