The 13th 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. This issue describes only changes that have occurred in relation to the governance and e-learning activity with full jurisdictional profiles available on the project research website. It also provides context for the emergency remote teaching that began in March 2020 during the pandemic drawn from the Canadian eLearning Network’s “Remote Learning Research Project,” which was designed to delineate how each jurisdiction managed their emergency remote teaching.
Distance or online learning enrolment remains relatively stable across the country, with a slight continuous increase in the number of students enrolled in programs. While there have been no
major changes in the nature of regulation governing K-12 distance and online learning activity in the provinces and territories, consultation between the federal government’s Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) and the Assembly of First Nations provided significant changes. The New Paths for Education Program was discontinued and revisions to the Elementary and Secondary Education Program were undertaken to make e-learning more comprehensive in nature and to focus on partnerships directly with various First Nations.
Additionally, some clarity was made for several proposed changes to e-learning that had been announced during the 2018-19 school year. For example, the Ontario Minister of Education announced that students would be required to take two, not the previously announced four, online credits to graduate from secondary school beginning with students graduating in 2023-24, and that courses could count toward this requirement beginning in September 2020. The Ontario Educational Communications Authority Act and the Ontario French-language Educational Communications Authority Act, 2008 were also amended following the 2019-20 school year to broaden the mandates of both Television Ontario (TVO) and Télévision française de l’Ontario (TFO) to position them to provide centralized e-learning opportunities.
Another example of regulatory clarity that came about during the 2019-20 school year was in British Columbia, where the government modified the funding regime for distributed learning in independent schools and the development of policy and program delivery models for distributed learning to reflect per-student-based funding continues. Other examples included several provinces that established or clarified definitions of blended learning to provide consistency and alignment with the current e-learning vernacular.
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.
The full report is available at:
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