Virtual School Meanderings

April 21, 2022

[REPOST] Release of the 14th State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada annual report

Filed under: virtual school — Michael K. Barbour @ 3:00 pm
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This entry was crossposted from https://k12sotn.ca/blog/release-of-the-14th-state-of-the-nation-k-12-e-learning-in-canada-annual-report/ please leave comments on that entry.

The 14th 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 descriptions of the remote learning that began at the start of the 2020-21 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 enrolment 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 with Atlantic Canada has the lowest level of participation. During the 2020-21 school year, British Columbia was the only jurisdiction to experience changes in their regulatory framework. Legislative changes to both the School Act and the Independent School Act updated terminology from distributed learning to online learning and allowed school districts and independent school authorities to offer online learning courses and programs to in-district’ students without an agreement with the Ministry (but will still need one to enrol out-of-district students or for cross-enrolment). Additionally, the requirement that Ontario students had to take two online courses to graduate from secondary school came into effect during the 2020-21 school year but the Ministry of Education announced that all secondary students would receive credit for having taken one online course due to the remote learning that occurred during the 2020-21 school year. The implementation of many of the other changes in other jurisdictions have been delayed until or have been planned for the 2021-22 school year or the 2022-23 school year.

For the most part the school year was dominated by the pandemic, school closures, and remote learning. Instead of benefiting from the experience of their online learning programs and educators, many jurisdictions scrambled to reinvent what had already existed in successful, existing e-learning infrastructure.  Some jurisdictions did rely on their existing online learning programs that resulted in an increase in enrollment, but did not necessarily negate the need for remote learning during school closures. Finally, some jurisdictions developed models of instructional delivery that had not previously existed (or had only existed in the most isolated cases). However, overall what occurred in most jurisdictions when school closures were required was still remote learning – and not online learning – because 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.

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.

To access the complete report, visit:

https://k12sotn.ca/wp-content/uploads/2022/04/StateNation21.pdf

Jurisdictional Summaries

The jurisdictional summaries contained in the printed report are a summary of the revisions to the profiles for each province, territory, and federal jurisdiction. These summaries focus specifically on highlighting any changes to the governance and regulation that exists in that jurisdiction, as well as providing updated levels of activity for distance, online, and blended learning.

The project website contains a full jurisdictional profile that is organized in the following manner:

  • a detailed description of the distance, online and blended learning programs operating in that jurisdiction;
  • a discussion of the various legislative and regulatory documents that govern how these distance, online and blended learning programs operate;
  • links to previous annual profiles;
  • an exploration of the history of e-learning in that jurisdiction;
  • links to vignettes (i.e., stories designed to provide a more personalized perspective of those involved in K–12 e-learning) for that jurisdiction;
  • links to any brief issues papers (i.e., more detailed discussions of specific issues related to the design, delivery and support of K–12 e-learning) in that jurisdiction;
  • the most recent responses to the individual program survey;
  • an overview of the jurisdiction’s policies related to the provision of e-learning in and to other jurisdictions; and
  • [NEW] a summary of the jurisdiction’s remote learning response since March 2020 (i.e., summarized from Nagel et al., 2020a; 2020b; 2021).

The full profiles for each of these jurisdictions can be found at https://k12sotn.ca/data/

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