Population: 522,994
Number of K-12 Schools: 260
Number of K-12 Students: 63,722
Number of K-12 E-Learning Programs: 1
Number of K-12 E-Learning: 1,092

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. Beginning in 2001 this delivery was managed through the Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation (CDLI). In April 2017, the CDLI was transferred to be a division of the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District (NLESD). In addition to its offerings for the NLESD, the district also has a memorandum of understanding with both the Conseil scolaire francophone provincial de Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador and the school district representing the Mi’kmaq (i.e., a province-wide First Nations district) to deliver e-learning courses to their students through the CDLI.

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development continues to track the method of delivery that students complete their studies.  Historically this data was available through the K-12 School Profile System, however, the 2019-20 reporting does not include any data related to distance learning.

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 2019-20 school year there were 1,092 students registered in 45 different courses. 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

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 has tracked 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. No data on the number of educator accounts was provided for 2019-20.

Emergency Remote Teaching

Schools closed on March 17, 2020 and remote teaching began on April 2.  The NLESD created a website of curricular resources, and also provided a limited number of devices and connectivity.  There were no stated expectations for attendance and, besides being required to check in with students weekly, there were minimal expectations for teacher behaviour.  Student grades were based on work up to March 12, though students could improve their grades.  The school year ended early – officially on June 5.

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 www.cdli.ca 2019-20 Online 1,092 online 28 full-time 45 online

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.