Population: 755,464
Number of K-12 Schools: 307
Number of K-12 Students: 98,906
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Number of K-12 E-Learning Programs: 2
Number of K-12 E-Learning Students: 2527

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

Both the Anglophone and Francophone sectors of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development manage K –12 distance learning programs. These programs service secondary students in New Brunswick in either of the province’s two official languages. During the 2015-16 school year there were approximately 1800 students enrolled in the Anglophone program and 727 students enrolled in the Francophone program.  One area of particular growth has been in the First Nations language courses; and, as the Department adds the intermediate level courses online, grade 9 and 10 students are able to access the introductory level courses online.  Interestingly, while the number of actual students engaged in distance learning has remained consistent in recent years, the demand for online courses for students wanting to work offsite has been increasing (with student anxiety being the most commonly cited reason).

The content that has been created for all of the distance learning courses is available to all teachers in the province as a professional learning resource.  During the 2015-16 school year there were 1100 English and 3071 French face-to-face students registered in the learning management system using online courses in a more blended learning model under the direction of their local school’s classroom teachers.

Finally, the distance learning infrastructure continues to be used to support teacher professional learning.  By the end of the 2015-16 school year over half of all educational assistants had completed an online Autism Spectrum Disorder course (which has been used by all four provinces in Atlantic Canada).  The Healthy Learner Nurses program in schools also uses the provincial learning management system.  The distance learning program also supports the up-grading of courses for a limited number of students from across the province.

Governance and Regulation

There remains no specific legislation that governs K-12 distance education in New Brunswick. The system continues to operate based on collaboration between the Ministry of Education and individual school districts. The Ministry has published a policy handbook, different for both the English and French systems, that outlines the responsibilities of a variety of individuals at the Ministry, district and school level to ensure the orderly implementation of the distance education program. Interestingly, in addition to school officials such as a registrar and local site facilitator, there are specific responsibilities outlined for both distance education students and the parents of students who are enrolled in distance education programs.

Previous Provincial Profiles

History of K-12 E-Learning

Since its inception in 2001, the distance learning program has evolved to offer over 40 courses online with an additional 10 as a F2F resource. Initially based on the WebCT platform, by 2008-09, the program was staffed by 20 teachers and served more than 4000 students and teachers. In the following year restructuring saw the program contract to half that size, and with a shifted focus to core courses and supplemental support. Since then, the program has grown to be supported by 14 teachers, and offers a diverse mix of courses that are able to satisfy the province’s graduation requirements.

Almost since the beginning, the program has offered a Mi’kmaq language course and supplemental materials for Wolastoqey. In 2015-16, both languages saw the release of new courses so that both of the province’s First Nations groups can have access to language instruction via distance. The program now offers courses in five languages.

Vignettes

Individual Program Survey Responses

Program Most recent response  Medium  # of Students  # of Teachers  # of Courses 
New Brunswick – Anglophone
http://nbvhs.nbed.nb.ca
2015-16 Online ~1,800 12 full-time
2 part-time
45
New Brunswick – Anglophone
http://nbvhs.nbed.nb.ca
2015-16 Blended ~1,100 * 50
New Brunswick – Francophone
http://www.gnb.ca/0000/francophone-f.asp
2015-16 Online 727 7 full-time
3 part-time
24

* Blended program is delivered by local classroom teachers in schools and courses are available to anyone who requests them.

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

Inter-provincial and International

While the graduation requirements for the province are currently under review, for a student in New Brunswick to receive credit for a course taken from an online program in another province or territory the student would need to have enrolled in the course in New Brunswick and been unsuccessful in completing it. In such instances the online course would be considered an independent study course. Students can only have one independent study course count towards their graduation requirements.  Approval to apply outside credit for a single course is infrequently sought or approved.  The same process applies for a student seeking to obtain credit for a course from an online program in another country.  In both cases the curriculum for the course in question would need to be reviewed and approved, typically in advance of the student beginning the course.

In instances where a student living in another province or territory, or another country, took a course from an online program located in New Brunswick, a transcript would be issued by the Ministry and sent to the district or school-based coordinator responsible for the student. Whether the student receives credit for the course is determined by the individual jurisdiction where the student resides.  At present both Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island have agreements in place to allow students to receive credit for courses taken through New Brunswick’s French language distance education program. Typically a review of the New Brunswick curriculum is carried out first by the school authority interested to ensure the student would receive credit should they complete the course (in much the same fashion that New Brunswick reviews the curriculum of other programs before granting credit to students who wish to take courses from other jurisdictions).