Data on the level of blended learning has been collected since the 2014-15 school year. However, as the vast majority of jurisdictions do not formally track participation in blended learning programs, this data has been quite unreliable. For example, there are jurisdictions such as Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Ontario, where the data provided by the Ministries based on the number of student accounts in the provincially licensed learning management system. While the enrolments in a learning management system are an indicator of the potential for blended learning activity, it also doesn’t mean that those students are actually using those accounts or are using those accounts for the purposes of blended learning. This data also excludes those students and teachers that may be engaged in blended learning activities, courses, and programs that do not make use of the provincial learning management system.

Each year this data was often supplemented by responses from the individual Ministries of Education or key stakeholders. However, the definitions of blended learning in several of these instances were inconsistent with the definition of blended learning used for this annual study (i.e., a student learns at least in part through online delivery of content and instruction with some element of student control over time, place, path, and/or pace; and at least in part at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home). For example, the Northwest Territories Department of Education, Culture and Employment defined blended learning as a formal education program where students learn in part through online delivery of content and instruction, and in part in a brick and mortar setting. This definition is consistent with the study’s description of online distance learning, not blended learning. The Leading English Education and Resource Network (LEARN) program in Quebec utilizes a similar definition.

Finally, the third source of information for estimates of blended learning activity has traditionally been data from the individual program survey. Table 1 indicates the response rate for e-learning programs to the individual program survey for the 2018-19 school year, as well as the overall response rate since 2014-15 (i.e., the first year blended learning data was included).

Table 1. Individual program survey responses

Total Number of Programs Number of Programs Responding in 2019 2019 Response Rate Number of Programs Responding Since 2015 Response Rate Since 2015
NL 1 1 100% 1 100%
NS 2 2 100% 2 100%
PE 0
NB 2 2 100% 2 100%
QC 5 3 60% 5 100%
ON 84 14 17% 21 25%
MB 38 0 0% 4 11%
SK 21 7 33% 11 52%
AB 33 10 30% 14 42%
BC 74 14 19% 51 68%
YT 2 1 50% 1 50%
NT 1 1 100% 1 100%
NU 0
Federal 5 3 60% 3 60%
Total 268 58 22% 116 43%

This past year only 22% of the e-learning programs that were identified completed the individual program survey. In fact, since blended learning data has been collected only 43% of the known e-learning programs have completed the individual program survey. Of those 116 programs that completed the survey (i.e., 43% of known programs), only 52 of them self-identified as having blended learning enrolments. However, it is important to note that the individual program survey is circulated directly to e-learning programs (i.e., programs that were primarily engaged in distance and/or online learning), and then on both the CANeLearn and State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada websites. So if Villanova Junior High in Conception Bay South, Newfoundland and Labrador or Forest Glade Public School in Windsor, Ontario or Okanagan Mission Secondary in Kelowna, British Columbia was engaged in blended learning there is a strong possibility that they would not have been aware of this survey to even consider completing it.

So, in reporting the “Level of K-12 Blended Learning Activity,” a discussion of the data limitations is critical to inform the reader that while we can report that K-12 blended learning appears to be growing, we also believe that the estimation of blended learning activity provided in this report does not begin to scratch the surface of the true level of blended learning occurring in most jurisdictions. Based on the estimated enrolment data, the number of students engaged in K-12 blended learning was 860,398 or 17% of the overall K-12 student population (see Table 2).

Table 2. Summary of the K-12 blended learning activity by jurisdiction for 2018-19

# of K-12 students # enrolled in blended learning Percent involvement
NL 64,336 ~9,000* 14%
NS 120,604 98,000** 81%
PE 20,131
NB 98,906 ~8,325*** 8%
QC 1,003,322 ~21,300* 2 %
ON 2,020,245 ~708,000** 35%
MB 208,796 24* 0%
SK 184,004 ~2300* 1%
AB 718,310 ~2000* 0%
BC 633,805 ~10,500* 2%
YT 5,456 418*** 8.0%
NT 8,700
NU 10,107
Federal ~107,000 531* 1%
Total 5,056,819 860,398 17%

* Data extracted from individual program survey responses or previous data collection cycles
** Estimate of potential number based on learning management system data
*** Data provided by Ministry

Table 3 illustrates the estimated level of K-12 blended learning over the past three years and the basis for that estimation.

Table 3. Summary of estimated K-12 blended learning activity over the past three years

# students engaged in blended learning
2016-17 2017-18 2018-19
NL ~8,000** ~9,000** ~9,000*
NS ~54,000** 97,575** 98,000**
NB 5,917*** ~7,000*** ~8,325***
QC ~5,300* ~21,300* ~21,300**
ON ~468,000** ~515,000** ~708,000**
MB 24* 24* 24*
SK 189* ~11,500* ~2300*
AB 1463* ~3071* ~2000*
BC ~6,30* ~9,500* ~10,500*
YT 830*** 907*** 418***
NT ~100***
Federal 638*** 531*** 531*
Total 552,367 675,508 860,398

* Data extracted from individual program survey responses or previous data collection cycles
** Estimate of potential number based on learning management system data
*** Data provided by Ministry

It is important to underscore once again that these estimates of K-12 blended learning activity continue to be a best effort attempt at trying to quantify this type of e-learning activity.

Finally, due to the problematic nature of the K-12 blended learning activity data, there is no presentation of the overall K-12 e-learning activity data for 2018-19, or comparison of that data to previous years.

2019 Level of K-12 Blended Learning Activity

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