The 15th issue of the annual State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada study describes the changes that have occurred in relation to e-learning governance and activity over the past year. Jurisdictional profiles describe activity and nature of governance for each province and territory, as well as for Indigenous programs under federal jurisdiction. Like previous publications, this issue describes only changes that have occurred in relation to the governance and e-learning activity while full jurisdictional profiles remain on the project research website. It also provides a summary of the remote learning that continued through the 2021-22 school year drawn from the Canadian eLearning Network’s “Remote Learning Research Project,” which was designed to delineate how each jurisdiction managed their response to the pandemic and school closures.
Distance or online learning enrollment remained stable across the country, with many jurisdictions reporting an increase in the number of students enrolled in programs. Western Canada still has the largest level of student participation in online programs, while Atlantic Canada has the lowest level of participation. For the most part the school year still was impacted by the pandemic with school closures and remote learning – not online learning – as it was still viewed as temporary in nature. It remained an attempt to project a classroom instructional model to students at a distance with limited success.
During the 2021-22 school year, several jurisdictions experienced changes in their online programs regulatory framework or practices. In Québec there were 56 distance learning pilot projects, spread over 39 educational establishments and organizations with at least 1500 students involved. Ontario saw significant changes as the massive increase in e-learning with implementation of the two mandatory online courses saw the Ontario eLearning Consortium grow to include all but five of the public and Catholic school boards, with a subsequent increase in consortium staffing. Following a comprehensive review of the K-12 education system by the Manitoba Commission on K to 12 Education that concluded in March 2020, the Ministry released an action plan report that included an online high school to enhance access to programming and learning across the province. In Alberta the Funding Manual for School Authorities was further revised to account for – and even encourage – enrollment of students from other school authorities. In British Columbia, full implementation of the July, 2021 legislative changes were extended to July 2023 with interim agreements between the Ministry and school districts governed the now designated online schools for the 2021-22 school year.
The State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada report, and its accompanying publications on its project website, provides critical information and insight into how Canadian educational authorities and governments are integrating technology-supported approaches to prepare students for today’s economy and a future society in which the use of technology will be ubiquitous. The report and website provide a benchmark for educators and offers background, guidance, and ideas for the improvement of policy and practice in online and blended learning.
You can access the full report at https://k12sotn.ca/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/StateNation22.pdf