Over the course of the week, we’ll be previewing the 2019 State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada report in advance of its official release on Monday, 03 February.
Since 2011, the annual State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada study has received consistent participation from the various Ministries of Education (and federal authorities since 2013). In some cases the Ministries collected and published detailed information. For example, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador produced an annual Education Statistics report that is granular enough to be able to report that there were 23 males and 31 females enroled in Art and Design 3200 during the 2017-18 school year, and this was a decrease of 20 students (i.e., 8 males and 12 females) from the previous school year (Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, 2019). However, there are other instances where the Ministries do not collect any data related to K-12 distance, online, and/or blended learning.
The data collected from these Ministry sources are compared with the information received from key stakeholders in various jurisdictions, as well as an analysis of available documents. In some instances the data from Ministries and stakeholders agree, while in other cases there is some inconsistency between the stated governance regime and experiences of stakeholders. The sponsorship of the Canadian eLearning Network (CANeLearn) that began in 2014 has significantly increased the network of stakeholders available to the State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada team. This sponsorship has also helped to foster the collection of data from the individual program survey. While the response rate for the 2018-19 school year was only 22%, over the past nine years (i.e., since the individual program survey was first introduced for the 2010-11 school year) the project has received at least one response from 50% of the programs in Canada.
Table 1. Historic individual program survey responses
|Total Number of Programs||Number of Programs Responding||Response Rate|
However, it is also important to note that this reality means that the State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada project team have never received any data from approximately half of the known K-12 e-learning programs in Canada. Additionally, jurisdictions such as Alberta, Ontario, and – in particular – Manitoba remain below the national average in terms of participating in the annual study (and significantly below the average in the case of Manitoba). While the State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada project team is confident in the information included in this report and on the project website, the limitations in the data collection must be recognized. In the two previous reports, the authors have presented data on the overall participation in K-12 e-learning (i.e., participation in distance/online learning AND participation in blended learning). This discussion has been removed from the 2019 State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada report due to these limitations (and this omission is discussed in greater detail below with respect to K-12 blended learning activity).