Population: 1,272,000
Number of K-12 Schools: 869
Number of K-12 Students: 183,304
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Number of K-12 E-Learning Programs: ~38
Number of K-12 E-Learning Students: ~8000

Note that these profiles are taken from the most recent edition of the report, please review additional annual profiles below.

K-12 E-Learning Programs

Manitoba Education and Training continued to support three distance learning options in 2015-16: Independent Study Option (ISO), Teacher Mediated Option (TMO) and Web-Based Course (WBC) Option. The ISO (i.e., print) continued to offer 52 courses in English and 11 courses in French for grades 9-12 students. The TMO, which is managed by rural school divisions through the TMO Consortium in partnership with Manitoba Education and Training, offered 19 English courses for grades 9-12 students.  The WBC Option (online) provided access to 43 courses in English and 4 courses in French. Each school division in the province has participated in one or more of the above distance education program options; however, participation varies from year to year depending on the changing needs of students and schools. The numbers outlined for the 2015–16 school year indicate 1596 students accounted for 2668 enrollments in the ISO, approximately 100 students from 23 different schools accounted for 421 enrollments in the TMO and 6500 student enrollments in the WBC Option. Overall, there were approximately 9589 distance education enrollments in programs directly supported by Manitoba Education and Training, and students could be enrolled in more than one program.

In terms of blended learning, Manitoba Education and Training provides teachers with access to the provincial learning management system in order to support and supplement their classroom teaching practices. Teachers make requests for courses (and to add students to those courses) through an online WBC Request System. As such, school divisions and schools develop their own blended learning programs and determine how to infuse technology into their classrooms to best suit the needs of their learners. Additionally, Manitoba Education and Training assists teachers in understanding the pedagogy of blended and online learning through training workshops and presentations.

Governance and Regulation

The only reference in the Public Schools Act regarding distance education is mention that the Minister of Education can approve courses of study, including correspondence and other courses. Manitoba Education and Training has issued other regulatory and policy documents, along with handbooks for each of the three distance learning options.

Manitoba Education and Training has created a framework that allows for a virtual collegiate to operate in Manitoba. The formation of the virtual collegiate occurred as part of a three-year pilot collaboration among educational entities already recognized and operating distance education programs in the province. A signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Province governs the collaboration. To date, the Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre (MFNERC) has signed an MOU with the Province and was granted a Manitoba school code for Wapaskwa Virtual Collegiate effective September 2014.  Recently, InformNet Virtual Collegiate, which offers 9-12 online courses through two school divisions, signed an MOU and received a school code that took effect in September 2016.

Previous Provincial Profiles

History of K-12 E-Learning

Distance education started in Manitoba in 1927 with print-based correspondence courses with a mandate to provide educational opportunities, through correspondence or independent study, to school-aged children and adults in rural and remote areas where access to school was difficult or impossible due to proximity or illness.  Prior to 1987, correspondence/independent study courses were delivered by the Correspondence School.  However, beginning in 1987 the Distance Education and Technology Branch was established and the Correspondence Branch was incorporated into this (later renamed the Independent Study Program in 1991).  In 1991, the Independent Study Program (now called the Independent Study Option [ISO]) was decentralized to Winkler, Manitoba in what is now the Distance Learning Unit.  Historically, courses for grades 1-6 were developed by Alberta Education while courses for grades 7-12 were developed by Manitoba’s Program Development Branch.  By 2009, Grade 7 ISO courses were discontinued and students directed to Alberta Education (the same occurred for Grade 8 ISO courses in 2010).  Beginning in 2014, the ISO program began using Blackboard Learn as a learning management system.

The Teacher Mediated Option (TMO) program began in 1984 as a cooperative program by the school divisions.  In 1992, Manitoba Education assumed responsibility for the administration of the TMO program and it was operated from Wawanesa, MB (within the Southwest School Division).  In 2007, the TMO program moved to the Distance Learning Unit in Winkler, MB.  Around 2010 to 2012 discussion began with participating school divisions about the continuation of the TMO program. It was decided a consortium would be established with participating school divisions and TMO teachers would be placed under the host’s collective agreement.  In 2012 – 2013 this consortium was established with an Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the consortium members and Manitoba Education.  The Sunrise School Division acts as the host division, and ISO course materials are used as foundation for instruction.  This MOU has been renewed annually, but in 2014 – 2015 Pine Creek School Division began to act as the host division.

The Web-Based Courses (WBC) were first implemented in 1999 with Applied Math 30S being the first course developed as a pilot.  After a successful two year project that involved 15 school divisions, WBC development and implementation continued to flourish and by 2006 41 courses were available for grades 9-12.  In 2008, a Task Force was established to review the distance learning programs and processes.  Finally, beginning in September 2014 the Ministry approved a three year pilot for the operation of a virtual collegiate by an educational organization recognized by Manitoba.  To date, two “virtual collegiates” have received a school code (i.e., Wapaskwa Virtual Collegiate and InformNet Virtual Collegiate). WBC continue to be developed and revised to meet accessibility standards and the needs of 21st century learners.   These courses are made available to Manitoba teachers within the province as a resource, as a deliverable distance learning course, or to use in a blended learning environment.

Vignettes

Individual Program Survey Responses

Program Most recent response  Medium  # of Students  # of Teachers  # of Courses 
Beautiful Plains School Division
webct.merlin.mb.ca
2015-16 Online 36 1 full time 1
Evergreen School Division 2010-11 Online 38 6 part time 6
Flin Flon School Division 2015-16 Correspondence
Online
Blended
36 distance
24 blended
1 full time (counsellor)
1 blended
25 distance
12 blended
Garden Valley School Division 2011-12 Correspondence 5 0 2
InForm Net
http://www.informnet.mb.ca/
2015-16 Online 600 (school year)
320 (summer school)
1 full time
9 part time
30
Lakeshore School Division 2010-11 Correspondence
Online
**
Mountain View School Division
http:// www.mvsd.ca
2010-11 Correspondence
Online
Videoconference
115–130*** 5*** 12+***
Southwest Horizon School Division VC
http://www.shmb.ca/
2012-13 Online
Video Conference
100 12
Turtle Mountain School Division VC Courses 2016-17 Correspondence
Instructional television
40 **** 4

* This includes registration of Evergreen students in other division’s programs and other division’s students enrolled in Evergreen’s program.
** Additional information unavailable
*** This includes both their participation in Ministry-delivered programs and their own video conferencing and French immersion programs.
**** Teachers were already employed, just required a timetable adjustment.

To update this information, visit http://tinyurl.com/sotn-program-survey

Inter-provincial and International

If a student in Manitoba enrolls in a course offered by an online program in another province or territory it is up to the individual school administrators to assign “Out-of-Province” credits for the course(s) that have an equivalent Manitoba provincial course or locally developed course.  The same process is used for students who attended a school out of province and then move to Manitoba.  When the school administrator accepts the transfer a designation of “S” for “Standing” is used to report credits granted in the place of a percentage mark.  As such achievement in out-of-province courses cannot be used to calculate an average, and any transfer of credit is at the school administrator’s discretion.  This process applies to any out-of-province courses, regardless if it is another jurisdiction in Canada or internationally.

Under current regulations Manitoba schools cannot deliver any online courses to students in other jurisdictions for credit.  Schools can offer a course to an out-of-province or out-of-country student, but cannot issue Manitoba standing (i.e., credit) to an out-of-province or out-of-country student.  Students must be registered in a Manitoba school to earn Manitoba credit(s).