Population: 526,977
Number of K-12 Schools: 262
Number of K-12 Students: 66,323

Number of K-12 E-Learning Programs: 1
Number of K-12 E-Learning: ~8,000

Note that these profiles are taken from the most recent edition of the report, please review additional annual profiles below.

Governance and Regulation

There is no language in the Education Act related to K-12 distance education. Historically, distance education was delivered directly by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development through the Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation (CDLI). However, in April 2017 the operations of the CDLI were placed under the direct authority of the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District (NLESD) as a part of the Government’s Flatter Leaner Management Initiative. As the transfer took place late in the school year, the details concerning that transfer and subsequent implementation of the distance learning group have yet to be determined.

Prior to this transfer, the CDLI received a block funding allocation from the provincial government that funded the administration, all teacher and staff salaries, course development activities, Internet/network connectivity costs for schools, K-12 technology integration for the provincial K-12 school system. The CDLI also purchased and deployed all hardware and software required for the delivery of its online learning program, including all required computer equipment, videoconferencing equipment and other learning resources that enhance the distance learning experience. Finally, the CDLI outlined a number of conditions that participating schools must accommodate in order to participate in the distance education program (e.g., accommodation of the school’s schedule to the CDLI’s timetable, the designation of one or more teachers or staff as mediating teachers or members of the mediating team, etc.). However, it should be noted that the NLESD is still working through these practices and policies, many of which will not be finalized until the completion of a full school year (i.e., 2017-18).

Distance education was traditionally tracked using an enrollment system housed in the CDLI portal. However, this may change given the recent changes noted above. Registration systems are part of the ongoing discussions within the district. Historically, this data was available through the K-12 School Profile System.

K-12 Distance and Online Learning Activity

The Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation (CDLI) is the sole provider of K-12 distance education in the province. During the 2016-17 school year there were 968 students with 1,764 course registrations in 38 different courses representing 103 different schools. Distance learning at the K-12 level is delivered using a combination of synchronous and asynchronous tools, with synchronous instruction being the primary method.

The CDLI also offered online course reviews for students in both online and blended contexts for a variety of courses throughout the secondary level. The reviews utilized recorded instruction and solutions to sample questions related to provincial learning outcomes.

K-12 Blended Learning Activity

While blended learning occurs primarily at the post-secondary level in Newfoundland and Labrador, in the past the CDLI allowed any provincial educator (i.e., including classroom teachers) to register in their portal and use the CDLI’s asynchronous course materials with their face-to-face students. While the CDLI did track the number of educators that are registered in the portal, an account in the system does not necessarily mean that the person uses the resources in their classroom. During the 2015-16 school year there were 7267 teacher registrations and 261 principal registrations in the CDLI portal. If each teacher that has access to the CDLI portal used this material with a single class of 15 students it would represent approximately 109,000 students (or almost twice the total number of K-12 students in the province). Realistically, given that the majority of the CDLI content is focused on the secondary grades, it is safe to assume that at best no more than a half of the province’s approximately 16,000 high school students are engaged in blended learning.

Previous Provincial Profiles

History of K-12 E-Learning

Unlike most provinces, the history of e-learning in Newfoundland and Labrador has been well documented.  Between federally-funded research initiatives (e.g., National Centres of Excellence-TeleLearning and the Killick Centre for E-Learning Research at Memorial University of Newfoundland) and independent researchers, there has been a great deal of academic literature produced describing the development of e-learning in the province.  A Colloquim published in 2005 provides a brief overview of the history of e-learning programs from a telematics project in the 1980s to a variety of online initiatives in the 1990s to the province-wide virtual school in the 2000s (see Barbour, 2005).  Additionally, Barbour (2007) provides a comprehensive overview of the Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation,


Barbour, M. K. (2005). From telematics to web-based: The progression of distance education in Newfoundland and Labrador. British Journal of Educational Technology, 36(6), 1055-1058.

Barbour, M. K. (2007). Portrait of rural virtual schooling. Canadian Journal of Educational Administration and Policy, 59. Retrieved from http://www.umanitoba.ca/publications/cjeap/articles/barbour.html


Brief Issue Papers

Individual Program Survey Responses

Program Most recent response  Medium  # of Students  # of Teachers  # of Courses 
Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation (http://www.cdli.ca) 2013 Online 1,232 36 full-time 40

To update this information, visit http://tinyurl.com/sotn-program-survey

Inter-provincial and International

If a student in Newfoundland and Labrador were to take a course from an e-learning program in another jurisdiction that student would have to apply to High School Certification to have an equivalency completed to assess whether the course meets the curriculum requirements for Newfoundland and Labrador.  If the course was found to be equivalent the student would then receive credit.

Students living in other jurisdictions can only take courses from CDLI if they are registered with a school in the province.  For example, if a student were to move to Qatar with their parents for work reasons and they were registered with a school in Newfoundland and Labrador, they could then take their courses through CDLI.  Students living outside of Newfoundland and Labrador who have not been registered with a school in Newfoundland and Labrador are not eligible to enroll in courses through the CDLI.