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London Region (2013) - State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada


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Barbour, M. K. (2013, March). State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada. A presentation to the London Region Digital Learning Steering Committee Meeting, London, ON.

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London Region (2013) - State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada

  1. 1. State of the Nation Study: K-12 Online Learning in Canada Michael K. Barbour Wayne State University
  2. 2. Methodology
  3. 3. National Trends• K–12 distance education continues to grow• Correspondence education continues to be prevalent• Blended learning is seen as effective ICT• Several jurisdictions have made dramatic changes over the past five years
  4. 4. National Trends: Regulation• Many provinces and territories have some reference to distance education in the Education Act or Schools Act – this is changing!• regulation of K–12 distance education is the use of contracts with MoE or policy handbooks• British Columbia and Nova Scotia are major exceptions
  5. 5. National Trends: Activity
  6. 6. National Trends: Activity
  7. 7. National Trends: Activity• Growth of K-12 distance education is quite uneven – reported growth in some jurisdictions may be due to better accounting• Participation in blended learning is not counted in most instances
  8. 8. National Overview - Activity
  9. 9. Newfoundland and Labrador• Single province-wide online program since 2001 – grew out of district-based initiatives and legacy distance education program• No specific policies for online learning, but provincial program is housed within MOE
  10. 10. Nova Scotia• Recent creation of a single province-wide program – grew out of district-based online initiatives• 11 provisions included in the agreement between the Government & teachers union
  11. 11. Prince Edward Island• Uses online learning program in New Brunswick – legacy video conferencing program has been phased out• MOE has issued two directives since 2001 containing guidelines for the use of distance education in K-12 environment
  12. 12. New Brunswick• Single province-wide program since 1998 – used frequently by face-to-face teachers too• Ministry has created a 100+ page handbook that districts have to agree to in order to participate in online learning• Provincial program is housed within MOE
  13. 13. Quebec• Couple individual online and correspondence programs that partner with school districts – additional a couple of programs that provide for connected classrooms or blended learning• MOE devolved distance education to the districts about a decade ago – currently no regulation
  14. 14. Ontario• Primarily district-based program using the provincial CMS and course content – cooperation between boards through consortiums – three private schools and Independent Learning Centre• Ministry has created contracts that districts have to agree to in order to participate in online learning based on the Provincial E- Learning Strategy
  15. 15. Manitoba• Province offers three forms – MOE manages correspondence and audio teleconference systems – districts manage their own web-based program using MOE content• MOE approves programs and regulates the use of their distance content
  16. 16. Saskatchewan• Primarily district-based programs – most have their own capacity in some form – sixteen districts provided space to external students through the Saskatchewan Distance Learning Course Repository• Province devolved responsibility to districts – no regulation
  17. 17. Alberta• Numerous district-based, several private, and a province-wide program• MOE has no specific online learning policies – release Inspiring Action on Education in June 2011 – currently undergoing external review of distance education regulation and activity
  18. 18. British Columbia• Significant numbers of public district-based & independent (i.e., private) programs – begun expanding nationally and internationally• Most extensive distributed learning regulations – funding follows student – quality audit process
  19. 19. Yukon• Several MOE initiatives (currently expanding video conferencing opportunities) – also utilize program from British Columbia & Alberta• Primarily regulated by Ministry or through inter-provincial agreements
  20. 20. Northwest Territories• Primarily utilizes programs from Alberta – beginning to create internal capacity – also has one district-based program (i.e., Beaufort Delta Education Council)• Primarily regulated by Ministry or through inter-provincial agreements
  21. 21. Nunavut• Utilizes program from Alberta & British Columbia – a belief that southern distance education courses rarely meet the needs of students in context, cultural, relevance, and pedagogy – trying to build internal capacity (e.g., building on other existing programs, including adult programs like “Together @ a Distance”)• Primarily regulated by Ministry or through inter- provincial agreements
  22. 22. Take-Aways• Regulatory behaviour varies considerably from no to extensive regulations• Level of activity is increasing nationally, but to what level we just can’t tell definitively• Unions remain cautiously supportive
  23. 23.
  24. 24. YourQuestions andComments
  25. 25. Assistant Professor Wayne State University, USA mkbarbour@gmail.com