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). After examining literature on K-12 distance, online and blended 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 distance, online and blended learning initiatives throughout the rest of North America. To date the vast majority of literature and research about K-12 distance, online and blended learning have focused upon the United States. This annual study is the first of many steps that researchers are taking to address the lack of information about K-12 distance, online and blended learning in Canada.
The goals of this study are to address the following questions:
- How is K-12 distance, online and blended learning governed in each province, territory and federally?
- What is the level of K-12 distance, online and blended learning activity occurring in each province, territory and federally?
The annual reports from 2008-2011 were published by the iNACOL. The annual reports from 2012-2013 were published by Open School BC. Since 2014 the annual reports have been published by the Canadian eLearning Network (CANeLearn).
Reflecting the involvement of CANeLearn, beginning in 2015 the annual report will officially be known as the State of the Nation: K-12 E-Learning in Canada. The change in the title was to accommodate the growing diversity in the field of K-12 distance, online and blended learning, along with the fact that within the Canadian context not all forms of distance education are mediated online. E-learning is a broader term that includes a variety of forms teaching and learning that are facilitated by or supported through online technologies where the teacher and learning may or may not be separated by distance.
For an overview of the contents of the annual report, please review the “How To Read This Report” page.
The annual reports have been authored primarily by Michael K. Barbour, with the assistance of a research team (some of whom have also been involved with the authorship). Those members of the research team that have worked on this study (and the years that they were involved) include:
- Randy LaBonte (2014-present)
- Nandita Mani (2008)
- Josh Rouan (2009)
- Jason Siko (2010-11)
- Robin Stewart (2007-09)
- Joe Vrazo (2011)
- Naimah Wade (2012)
- Lin Zhang (2007-08)
The design of the website for the State of the Nation: K-12 E-Learning in Canada is based on a similar study from the United States (i.e., Keeping Pace with K-12 Digital Learning: An Annual Review of Policy and Practice).
A special thanks for Boise State University’s Associate Professor Ross Perkins and Graduate Assistant Tony Hetrick, as well as Paul Mycroft, for their assistance with the WordPress programming and design for this website.
Additionally, the e-learning and design team at the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development for the creation of the tenth anniversary banner.
Finally, the following groups have provided in-kind assistance with the translation of this website into French: Centre francophone d’éducation à distance; LEARN (Quebec); and Manitoba Education and Training.
Powell, A., & Patrick, S. (2006). An international perspective of K-12 online learning: A summary of the 2006 NACOL international e-learning survey. Vienna, VA: North American Council for Online Learning. Retrieved from http://ﬁles.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED514433.pdf