State of the Nation 2011: K-12 online learning in Canada
Facilitator: Michael Barbour
Institution: Wayne State University
Date and time: May 02, 2012 11:00 AM
Over the past two decades, there has been little government, foundation, or private funding for the development of or research into K-12 online learning in Canada. Moreover, there has been little activity in Canadian higher education towards the research of K-12 online learning. Both of which have limited the focus and scope of education research into K-12 online learning. As such, K-12 online learning has continued to develop across Canada quietly, and with little dissemination outside of the country and between individual provinces.
Over the past four years, the State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada study has attempted to address this gap by examining of the regulation and activity of K-12 distance education in Canada. In this ongoing series, Dr. Barbour returns to CIDER with this year’s State of the Nation. Among his findings:
Regulation continues to vary from language in the Education or Schools Act, Ministerial Directives, policy documents, inter-provincial agreements, and collective bargaining agreements. British Columbia continues to have the most structured regulatory regime, while Quebec and Saskatchewan continue to have no regulation at all for K-12 distance education. One development over the past year has occurred in the province of Alberta, where the government has continued to shift its focus from a distance education to an educational environment where online and blended learning are pervasive – however, little movement has actually transpired on that front. The use of K-12 distance education is present in every jurisdiction and growing, although that growth is uneven and only experienced in certain jurisdictions. However, that growth was isolated to a few jurisdictions in 2010-11, with British Columbia still having the highest number and highest percentage of activity. There continues to be a heavy reliance on print-based methods of distance education delivery in some jurisdictions. Finally, distance education is largely viewed as a substitute to brick-and-mortar that should be used when that face-to-face learning not feasible or economic.