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State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada 2020

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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: https://k12sotn.ca/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/StateNation20.pdf
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State of the Nation:
K-12 e-Learning in Canada
2020 Abbreviated Edition
Michael K. Barbour
Touro University California
Randy LaBonte
Canadian eLearning Network
Joelle Nagel
University of Windsor
II State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada
Acknowledgements
Let me begin by thanking LEARN (Quebec), Virtual High School (Ontario), the Ontario Virtual School
and the Canadian eLearning Network (CANeLearn) for their generous support and sponsorship of this
report. Their collective guidance, suggestions and feedback were also helpful in compiling this report.
A special thank you goes out to Open School BC for the publication of this document.
I would also like to thank the following individuals for providing information used in the creation of the
provincial territorial, and federal proles.
Georgina Lake & Mike Sceviour – Newfoundland and Labrador English School District
Sue Taylor-Foley – Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
Marcel Landry – Prince Edward Island Department of Education & Early Childhood Development
Mike Cusack & Lucie Pearson – New Brunswick Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
Janick Audy and Catherine David-Bélanger Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur
Cathy Blacklock, Paul Hatala & Anusha Malik – Technology Enabled Learning Ontario
Todd Pottle – Ontario E-Learning Consortium
Claude Pierre-Louis Consortium d’apprentissage virtuel de langue française de l’Ontario
Steve Baker – Virtual High School
Shannon Magee, Chris Fredrickson & Donna Smith – Manitoba Education and Training
Shelley Lowes – Saskatchewan Ministry of Education
Daylene Lauman & Leanna Buzak – Alberta Education
Jennifer Riddel, Marnie Mayhew, Grant Sheppard, Theo Vandeweg & Teresa McClintick – British Columbia Ministry
of Education
Syndie Hebert, District 093 Conseil scolaire francophone
Dave McInnes – Yukon Education
Edward Frison – Aurora Virtual School
Maud Caron École Nomade
Blake Wile & Jessica Brace – Northwest Territories Department of Education
Shelly Blizzard Jones – Indigenous Services Canada
Additionally, thanks to the many additional key stakeholders from several of the jurisdictions that also
provided data and information that contributed to this report.
Michael K. Barbour
Founding Researcher, State of the Nation Report
State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada III
Table of Contents
Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . II
Executive Summary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . IV
1. Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
1.1 Methodology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2
1.2 How to Read This Document . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3
2. National Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4
2.1 Nature of K-12 E-Learning Regulation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5
2.2 Level of K-12 Distance/Online Learning Activity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6
2.3 Level of K-12 Blended Learning Activity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10
2.4 Emergency Remote Teaching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
3. Jurisdictional Summaries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
3.1 Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
3.2 Nova Scotia (NS) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
3.3 Prince Edward Island (PE) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
3.4 New Brunswick (NB) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
3.6 Ontario (ON) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
3.7 Manitoba (MB) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
3.8 Saskatchewan (SK) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
3.9 Alberta (AB) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
3.10 British Columbia (BC) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
3.11 Yukon (YT ) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
3.12 Northwest Territories (NT) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
3.13 Nunavut (NV) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24
3.14 Federal . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
4. References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
5. Call for Sponsors: 2021 State of the Nation: K-12 E-Learning in Canada Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
IV State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada
Executive Summary
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
proles 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 proles 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 signicant 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 modied the funding regime for distributed learning in independent
schools and the development of policy and program delivery models for distributed learning to reect
per-student-based funding continues. Other examples included several provinces that established
or claried denitions 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 oers background, guidance, and ideas for the
improvement of policy and practice in online and blended learning.
State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada 1
1. Introduction
This report details the results of the thirteenth annual State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada
study. Since 2018 this report has simply described the changes that have occurred in relation to
e-learning governance and activity over the past year. The standard jurisdictional proles (i.e., the
annual update of activity and nature of governance for each province and territory, as well as for
Indigenous programs under federal jurisdiction) have continued to be released in full on the State of
the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada website, which can be accessed at: https://k12sotn.ca/
Additionally, any new brief issue papers and vignettes are simply introduced in this report, but are
presented in full on the website. However, there are no new brief issue papers or vignettes associated
with the 2020 annual State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada report.
No accounting of the 2019-20 school year would be complete without some comment on the
global pandemic that was declared by the World Health Organization on 11 March 2020. Within days
jurisdictions all around the world began to close schools, and Canada was no dierent. The annual
State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada study is designed to examine K-12 distance, online, and
blended learning. Distance, online, and blended learning requires purposeful instructional planning,
using a systematic model of administrative procedures, and course development. It also requires the
careful consideration of various pedagogical strategies. These pedagogical considerations are used to
determine which are best suited to the specic aordances and challenges of delivery mediums and
the purposeful selection of tools based on the strengths and limitations of each one. Finally, careful
planning requires that teachers be appropriately trained to be able to support the tools that are being
used, and for teachers to be able to eectively use those tools to help facilitate student learning.
However, as Hodges et al. (2020) argued, “‘emergency remote teaching’ has emerged as a common
alternative term used by online education researchers and professional practitioners to draw a clear
contrast with what many of us know as high-quality online education” (para. 6). Hodges and his
colleagues described emergency remote teaching as:
a temporary shift of instructional delivery to an alternate delivery mode due to crisis
circumstances. It involves the use of fully remote teaching solutions for instruction
or education that would otherwise be delivered face-to-face or as blended or hybrid
courses and that will return to that format once the crisis or emergency has abated.
The primary objective in these circumstances is not to re-create a robust educational
ecosystem but rather to provide temporary access to instruction and instructional
supports in a manner that is quick to set up and is reliably available during an emergency
or crisis. (para. 13)
2 State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada
As emergency remote teaching is temporary in nature, it is generally beyond the connes of an annual
study focused on planned distance, online, and blended learning1. But we would be remiss if it was
excluded altogether.
Given this reality, the 2020 annual State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada report will provide
some context for the emergency remote teaching that began in March of the 2019-20 school year. This
context will be drawn from the Canadian eLearning Network’s “Remote Learning Research Project,
which was designed to delineate how each jurisdiction managed their emergency remote teaching
throughout the pandemic (Barbour & LaBonte, 2020; Nagle, Barbour, & LaBonte, 2020; Nagle, LaBonte,
& Barbour, 2020). In particular, the project examined the moves each Canadian jurisdiction made to
continue to promote learning throughout the pandemic. Information was gathered for each province
and territory, through government websites, educational organizations, and current news releases
regarding each jurisdiction’s strategies to provide supports, resources, and technologies appropriate
for the continuation of emergency remote teaching and learning.2
1.1 Methodology
The methodology utilized to collect the data for the annual study included:
a survey that was sent to each of the Ministries of Education,
follow-up interviews to clarify or expand on any of the responses contained in the survey,
an analysis of documents from the Ministry of Education, often available in online format, and
follow-up interviews with key stakeholders in many of the jurisdictions.
In addition to the data collection for the provincial, territorial, and federal proles, the researchers also
undertook an individual program survey that was sent to contacts from all of the K-12 distance, online,
and blended programs across Canada identied by the researchers. The survey was sent to all contacts
on six occasions from June through December. The response rate by jurisdiction is provided in Table 1.
1 The State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada special report entitled Understanding Pandemic
Pedagogy: Dierences Between Emergency Remote, Remote, and Online Teaching examined the dierences
between online learning and emergency remote teaching from a K-12 perspective (see Barbour et al., 2020).
2 For additional information visit https://canelearn.net/home/research/ or https://sites.google.com/view/
canelearn-ert/research-background
State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada 3
Table 1. Individual program survey responses for 2019-20
Total Number of Programs Number of Programs Responding Response Rate
NL 1 1 100%
NS 2 0 0%
PE 0 - -
NB 2 2 100%
QC 5 2 40%
ON 70 8 11%
MB 38 1 3%
SK 16 5 31%
AB 34 11 32%
BC 69 18 26%
YT 2 2 100%
NT 1 0 0%
NU 0 - -
Federal 5 2 40%
Total 245 52 21%
Data as of the time the printed report was submitted for publication (K-12 e-learning programs can update
their information at any time).
The most recent responses that the
State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada
researchers have
received are included in the provincial, territorial and federal proles located at
https://k12sotn.ca/data/
A complete description of the methodology, including all of the instruments, is provided at
https://k12sotn.ca/about/
1.2 How to Read This Document
The goal of the 2020 annual State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada report is to provide an
overview of the state of K-12 e-learning in Canada. K-12 e-learning is broadly dened to include all
forms of K-12 distance and online learning, as well as blended learning that may occur within the
context of a face-to-face setting.
The report begins with a national overview of K-12 distance, online, and blended learning in Canada. It
continues with a brief update of any changes or new developments in each provincial, territorial, and
federal jurisdiction. The full jurisdictional proles continue to be available at https://k12sotn.ca/data/
It is our goal that the State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada annual published report will be a
much shorter version of the updated changes that have occurred in each jurisdiction from the previous
year. However, the online version of the State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada will continue to
be a more comprehensive resource for e-learning in each jurisdiction.
4 State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada
2. National Overview
Since 2011, the annual State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada study has received consistent
participation from the various Ministries of Education (and federal authorities since 2013). In some
cases the Ministries collected and published detailed information. However, there are other instances
where the Ministries do not collect any data related to K-12 distance, online, and/or blended learning.
The data collected from these Ministry sources are compared with the information received from key
stakeholders in various jurisdictions, as well as an analysis of available documents.
In some instances the data from Ministries and stakeholders agree, while in other cases there is some
inconsistency between the stated governance regime and experiences of stakeholders. The sponsorship
of the Canadian eLearning Network (CANeLearn) that began in 2014 has signicantly increased the
network of stakeholders available to the
State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada
team. This
sponsorship has also helped to foster the collection of data from the individual program survey.
While the response rate for the 2019-20 school year was only 22%, over the past nine years (i.e.,
since the individual program survey was rst introduced for the 2010-11 school year) the project has
received at least one response from 50% of the programs in Canada (see Table 2).
Table 2. Historic individual program survey responses
Total Number of Programs Number of Programs Responding Response Rate
NL 1 1 100%
NS 2 2 100%
PE 0 - -
NB 2 2 100%
QC 5 5 100%
ON 70 37 53%
MB 38 9 24%
SK 16 14 88%
AB 34 21 62%
BC 69 46 67%
YT 2 2 100%
NT 1 1 100%
NU 0 - -
Federal 5 5 100%
Total 245 134 55%
However, it is also important to note that this reality means that the State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning
in Canada project team have never received any data from almost half of the known K-12 e-learning
programs in Canada. Additionally, jurisdictions such as Ontario, and – in particular – Manitoba remain
below the national average in terms of participating in the annual study (and signicantly below the
average in the case of Manitoba). While the State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada project team
State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada 5
is condent in the information included in this report and on the project website, the limitations in the
data collection must be recognized. In previous reports, the authors have presented data on the overall
participation in K-12 e-learning (i.e., participation in distance/online learning AND participation in
blended learning). This discussion has been removed from the 2020 State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning
in Canada report due to these limitations (and this omission is discussed in greater detail below with
respect to K-12 blended learning activity).
2.1 Nature of K-12 E-Learning Regulation
While many provinces and territories continue to have some reference to distance education in the
Education Act or Schools Act, in most instances these references simply dene distance education or
give the Minister of Education in that province or territory the ability to create, approve or regulate
K-12 distance education. Many of these references have also become antiquated given the present
realities of K-12 distance and online learning. The only provinces where this is not the case are Nova
Scotia (e.g., collective agreement signed between the Government of Nova Scotia [2020] and the
Nova Scotia Teachers Union) and British Columbia (e.g., section 3.1 and section 75 (4.1) of the School
Act, 2006, as well as section 8.1 of the Independent School Act, 2006). Table 3 provides a summary of
regulations showing that the most dominant trend aecting the regulation of K-12 distance and online
learning is that approximately a third of all jurisdictions use policy handbooks to regulate K-12 distance
and online learning, sometimes in combination with a formal agreement or contract.
Table 3. Summary of the K-12 distance and online learning regulation by jurisdiction
Legislation Policy Handbook Agreements Memorandum of Understanding
NL
NS
PE
NB
QC
ON  
MB  
SK
AB  
BC  
YT  
NT  
NU  
Federal
There was only one jurisdiction that had any signicant change to how e-learning was governed and/
or regulated that took eect during the 2019-20 school year was the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit
programs under federal jurisdiction. Following four years of engagement between Indigenous Services
Canada (ISC) and the Assembly of First Nations, signicant changes, including the discontinuation of
6 State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada
the New Paths for Education Program 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. ISC also implemented a new co-developed policy and funding
approach for elementary and secondary education that was in eect for the 2019-20 school year.
Additionally, there was some clarity around many of the proposed changes to e-learning that had been
announced during the 2018-19 school year. For example, during the Fall 2019 the Ontario Minister of
Education announced that students would be required to take two 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. This gure was decreased from the four courses
that had been announced during the previous school year. Additionally, the Ontario Educational
Communications Authority Act and the Ontario French-language Educational Communications Authority
Act, 2008 were 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. Following two years of review, British Columbia modied the funding regime
for distributed learning in independent schools. However, changes will not take eect for the 2020-21
school year and the development of policy and program delivery models for distributed learning to
reect per-student-based funding is still on-going.
Finally, Manitoba Education established a formal denition of blended learning and released an
accompanying resource for educators. Similarly, Alberta Education changed the “blended learning”
terminology to “shared responsibility” for instances where the school-authority and the parent were
each partially responsible for a child’s education. Both of these changes brought the jurisdictions more
in alignment with the current e-learning vernacular.
2.2 Level of K-12 Distance/Online Learning Activity
Thirteen years following the publication of the rst State of the Nation: K-12 e-Learning in Canada
report, there continues to be a great deal of consistency in types of K-12 distance and online learning
programs that exist throughout the country (see Figure 1).
State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada 7
Figure 1. Types of K-12 distance and online learning programming across Canada
Provincial program(s)
Primarily district-based programs
Combination of provincial and
district-based programs
Students from all thirteen provinces and territories continue to participate in K-12 distance and online
learning opportunities. Most jurisdictions continue to have either primarily district-based programs
or district-based programs and provincial programs. The exception to this trend is in Atlantic Canada
and Northern Canada. In Atlantic Canada, the dominant model is the use of a single province-wide
program, with the exception of Prince Edward Island, which does not have any distance or online
learning program. In Northern Canada, both the Yukon and the Northwest Territories continue to
develop their own online learning programs. However, all three territories also still utilize distance and/
or online learning programs from southern provinces (notably Alberta and British Columbia).
In terms of the level of distance and online learning activity across Canada, the total K-12 population in
Canada for 2019-20 was approximately ve million students. Based on actual and estimated enrolment
data, the number of students engaged in K-12 distance and online learning was 310,582 or 6.0% of the
overall K-12 student population (see Table 4). It is important to note that the ~ symbol below means
that approximations were provided by one or more sources during the data collection.
8 State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada
Table 4. Summary of K-12 distance and/or online learning activity by jurisdiction for 2019-20
# of K-12 students # enrolled in distance/
online learning
Percent involvement
NL 63,722 1,092 1.7%
NS 123,239 2,241 1.8%
PE 20,131 133 0.1%
NB 98,906 ~3,470 3.5%
QC 1,003,322 ~35,000 3.5%
ON 2,056,055 ~98,000 4.8%
MB 208,796 ~13,749 6.6%
SK 186,036 12,456 6.7%
AB 741,802 82,857 11.2%
BC 548,702 ~59,000 10.8%
YT 5,456 234 4.2%
NT 8,700 131 1.5%
NU 10,107 19 0.001%
Federal ~109,400 ~2,200 2.0%
Total 5,184,374 310,582 6.0%
In examining the data by jurisdiction, there are three trends or categories that emerge. The rst
category are jurisdictions like Alberta and British Columbia where the proportion of students engaged
in K-12 distance and online learning are signicantly higher than the national average. The second
category are jurisdictions like Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario, where the proportion of students
engaged in K-12 distance and online learning are approximately at the national average. The third and
nal category are jurisdictions like Quebec, the Atlantic Canadian provinces, and the territories, whether
proportion of students engage in K-12 distance and online learning are well below the national average.
While these three categories exist, it is dicult to determine why particular jurisdictions end up in
each of the categories. For example, Alberta has next to no regulations or governance related to the
provision of K-12 distance and online learning. Alberta has also had a long-standing and historically
extensively used province-wide distance learning program, as well as a growing level of activity in
programs oered by school divisions.
On the other hand, British Columbia has an extensive regulatory regime and a quality improvement
process in place. Additionally, British Columbia has no province-wide program, but has had a signicantly
high number of district-based and independent distance learning programs – many of which operate on
a province-wide scale. Both jurisdictions fund K-12 distance and online learning at a lower amount than
they fund traditional brick-and-mortar education. In fact, it would be quite easy to argue that Alberta and
British Columbia have had almost opposite approaches to fostering the development of K-12 distance
and online learning. Yet, these two jurisdictions consistently have a much higher proportion of students
engaged in K-12 distance and online learning compared to the national average.
State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada 9
At the same time, a jurisdiction like Saskatchewan has taken an approach that is quite consistent with the
one seen in Alberta with the exception that K-12 distance and online learning students in Saskatchewan
are funded at the same level as brick-and-mortar students. Similarly, Ontario has taken an approach
that is quite consistent with the one scene in British Columbia, as both jurisdictions have extensive
regulations (i.e., in the case of British Columbia they are legislative and in the case of Ontario there in
the formal agreements or contracts), and both jurisdictions have signicant private school K-12 distance
and online learning activity. Yet both Saskatchewan and Ontario have far fewer students proportionally
engaged in K-12 distance and online learning as compared to Alberta and British Columbia.
Further, Manitoba has taken almost the same approach to K-12 online and distance learning as we
see throughout Atlanta Canada. All ve of these provinces rely upon centralized, Ministry-operated
distance learning programs. Yet Manitoba has a slightly higher proportion of students engaged in K-12
distance and online learning as compared to the national average, whereas the four Atlantic Canadian
provinces are all well below the national average - three of them signicantly below the national
average. So there appear to be no real trends for why one jurisdiction has a higher or lower level of
engagement in K-12 distance and online learning, and any eort to apply a rationale would be political,
ideological, or self-serving.
In terms of the 310,582 students or 6.0% proportion of students engaged in K-12 distance and/or
online learning across the country, there has been a continued increase in the overall participation
level from the previous three school years (see Table 5).
Table 5. Summary of K-12 distance and/or online learning activity over the past four years
# students engaged in distance and/or online learning
2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20
NL 968 1,233 1,140 1,092
NS ~2,600 ~2,700 2,381 2,241
PE 89 56 ~100 133
NB 3,262 ~3,239 ~3,270 ~3,470
QC ~42,600 30,366 ~40,000 ~35,000
ON ~91,000 ~82,000 ~89,000 ~98,000
MB 8,941 ~6,398 ~11,875 ~13,749
SK ~8,500 7,738 8,378 12,456
AB ~50,000 ~63,000 75,806 82,857
BC 57,046 65,556 ~65,000 ~59,000
YT 189 136 170 234
NT 79 93 130 131
NU ~40 ~40 ~70 19
Federal 1,289 1,131 ~2,000 ~2,200
Total 277,603 263,686 299,320 310,582
10 State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada
With the exception of minor decreases in participation reported in Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova
Scotia, Quebec, and British Columbia, most of the remaining 10 jurisdictions reported increases of 10% or
greater in the level of participation in K-12 distance and/or online learning for the second straight year.
In fact, the 2019-20 school year was the second straight school year to report an increase in the
proportion of students engaged in K-12 distance and/or online learning since the 2014-15 school year
(see Table 6 below), and also represents the highest proportion of students involved in K-12 distance
and/or online learning.
Table 6. K-12 distance and/or online learning student enrolment in Canada
Year # of distance education students % of students engaged in distance education
1999-20001 ~25,000 0.5%
2008-09 ~140,000 2.7%
2009-10 150,000-175,000 2.9%-3.4%
2010-11 207,096 4.2%
2011-12 245,252 4.9%
2012-13 284,963 5.2%
2013-14 290,185 5.4%
2014-15 311,648 6.0%
2015-16 293,401 5.7%
2016-17 277,603 5.4%
2017-18 263,686 5.1%
2018-19 299,320 5.9%
2019-20 310,582 6.0%
1 Canadian Teachers Federation (2000)
As has been stated in previous reports, the number of K-12 students engaged in distance and/
or online learning has remained relatively steady over the past decade (i.e., within ~1%). Project
researchers continue to believe that this stability represents the variability in the accuracy of data
collection (i.e., approximately half of the 14 jurisdictions are still only able to provide estimates,
approximations, or delayed data).
2.3 Level of K-12 Blended Learning Activity
While data on the level of blended learning has been collected since the 2014-15 school year, the vast
majority of jurisdictions do not formally track participation in blended learning programs and the data
that is collected is quite unreliable. Previous editions of this report have indicated that jurisdictions such
as New Brunswick and Ontario are able to provide data based on the number of student accounts in
the provincially licensed learning management system, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that those
students are actually using those accounts or are using those accounts for the purposes of blended
learning. That data also excludes those students and teachers that may be engaged in blended learning
activities, courses, and programs that do not make use of the provincial learning management system.
State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada 11
Additionally, blended learning activity has been estimated from data collected in the individual
program surveys, but this instrument is only circulated directly to e-learning programs (i.e., mainly
programs that were primarily engaged in distance and/or online learning. So if Villanova Junior High in
Conception Bay South, Newfoundland and Labrador or Forest Glade Public School in Windsor, Ontario
or Okanagan Mission Secondary in Kelowna, British Columbia was engaged in blended learning there is
a strong possibility that they would not have been aware of this survey to even consider completing it.
As has been stated in the past, in reporting the “Level of K-12 Blended Learning Activity” the estimation
of blended learning activity provided in this report does not begin to scratch the surface of the true
level of blended learning occurring in most jurisdictions because of these data limitations. In fact,
a review of previous editions of this annual study would reveal statements following each of the
tables related to blended learning activity that included: data extracted from individual program
survey responses or previous data collection cycles, estimate of potential number based on learning
management system data, and data provided by Ministry.
Due to the problematic nature of the K-12 blended learning activity data, there is no presentation
of the overall K-12 e-learning activity data for 2019-20, or comparison of that data to previous years.
The data that has been collected is still presented in the full jurisdictional proles, as the data can be
situated appropriately in those proles.
2.4 Emergency Remote Teaching
As indicated above, a reporting of K-12 distance, online, and/or blended learning in Canada during the
2019-20 school year would be incomplete without some reference to the emergency remote teaching
that occurred during the Spring. One way to conceptualize this temporary shift to distance learning is
to consider this transition in terms of phases (see Figure 2).
12 State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada
Figure 2. Four phases of educational response to COVID-19 in terms of remote and
online learning adoption. (Barbour et al., 2020, p. 3)
The four phases were described by the authors as:
Phase 1: Rapid Transition to Remote Teaching and Learning – Institutions making an
all-hands-on-deck movement to remote delivery, often relying on synchronous video,
with massive changes in just four weeks.
Phase 2: (Re)adding the Basics – Institutions must (re)add basics into emergency
course transitions: course navigation, equitable access including reliable computer and
broadband, support for students with disabilities, and academic integrity.
Phase 3: Extended Transition During Continued Turmoil – Institutions must be
prepared to support students for a full term, and be prepared for online delivery – even if
starting as face-to-face.
Phase 4: Emerging New Normal – This phase would see unknown levels of online
learning adoption, likely higher than pre-COVID-19 days, but Institutions would have
new levels of technology and support to reliably support students.
During Spring 2020, schools across Canada shifted to Phase 1 (with some jurisdictions transitioning
to Phase 2). Using information collected as a part of CANeLearn’s “Remote Learning Research Project,
this section summarizes the actions each Canadian jurisdiction took to continue to promote learning
throughout the pandemic. The information presented was based on government websites, educational
State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada 13
organizations, and news releases regarding each jurisdiction’s strategies to provide supports, resources,
and technologies appropriate for the continuation of emergency remote teaching and learning.
While it is safe to state that most teachers were unprepared to transition to an online setting during the
emergency remote teaching that occurred during Spring 2020, some jurisdictions had the potential to
be better positioned to provide continuity of learning than others (see Table 7 for an overview of the
state of online learning in each jurisdiction at the time of the pandemic).
Table 7. Existing e-Learning Structure Prior to the Pandemic
Jurisdiction # of Programs % of Students
Involved
Centralized
Program
Centralized
LMS
Centralized
Course
Development
Centralized
Blended Learning
Access
NL 1 1.7%   
NS 2 1.8%   
PE 0 0.1%
NB 2 3.5% 
QC 5 3.5%
ON 70 4.8%  
MB 38 6.6%   
SK 16 6.7%
AB 34 11.2%  
BC 69 10.8%
YT 2 4.2%   
NT 1 1.5% 
NU 0 0.001%
Federal 5 2.0%
1 There is a single, province-wide learning management system that teachers can access for the purposes
of blended learning. However, it is undetermined how widely known that availability is among classroom
teachers, and the existing content is limited to secondary courses (with some intermediate courses included).
2 The provincial program is actually the one oered by the New Brunswick Department of Education and Early
Childhood Development.
3 The only centralized program in both Quebec and Ontario is a correspondence-based model that is
specically for adult students.
4 Either through their correspondence program for French language students or through LEARN for English
language students.
While some jurisdictions may have had a higher proportion of students and teachers with experience
in distance and online learning or may have had a more substantial e-learning infrastructure, the goal
of the CANeLearn report was to simply report what occurred based on published announcements, not
to assess the quality of what occurred or the delity of what was announced.
14 State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada
The rst consideration is the timeline of how events occurred. Table 8 outlines how New Brunswick
was the rst jurisdiction to close their schools and within 10 days all K-12 schools across Canada
were closed.
Table 8. Key emergency remote teaching dates
Jurisdiction School
closure Remote teaching began End of school year
NL March 17 April 2 Ended early on June 5
NS March 15 April 8
PE March 23 April 6
NB March 13 April 2 A gradual return for teachers in June
QC March 16 March 30 Some students returned on May 11
ON March 23 April 6
MB March 20 March 30 Some teachers & students returned in June
SK March 20 March 30
AB March 16 March 20
BC March 17 March 27 Returned on June 1
YT March 18 April 16
NT March 16 April 14
NU March 17 April 21
Federal Followed timeline of jurisdiction where school was located
While Alberta closed schools three days after New Brunswick (and was the fourth jurisdiction to do so),
they were the rst jurisdiction to release plans to allow for remote teaching to begin. Ontario was the
last jurisdiction to close schools, but it only took them 15 calendar days to release plans to allow for
remote teaching to occur. The average length of time it took jurisdictions from the date that schools
closed to the date their remote teaching plans were released was 18 calendar days. It should be noted
that the three territories all took much longer to release their plans than their provincial counterparts.
Beyond the dates of when schools closed, began emergency remote teaching, and any milestones
accompanying the end of the school year, it is important to describe exactly what each jurisdiction
provided to ensure the continuity of learning. For example, did teachers received professional learning
on the tools and content that was provided? Were students provided access to the tools and content?
In addition to digital devices and/or internet access, were oine resources provided to students? Did
any jurisdictions oer specic support for Indigenous students? Table 9 provides an overview of the
responses for each jurisdiction.
State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada 15
Table 9. Provision of remote teaching
Jurisdiction
Teacher
professional
development
Devices
provided to
students
Provision of
non-digital
resources
Attendance
expectations
Support for
Indigenous
learners
NL  
NS 
PE  
NB  
QC  
ON  
MB  
SK
AB
BC  
YT   
NT   
NU  
Federal Followed guidelines of the jurisdiction where school was located
Several jurisdictions announced the provision of professional learning for teachers in the form of
webinars, university courses, ‘how to’ tutorials, virtual professional development days, toolkits, and access
to resources for curriculum support. Similarly, some jurisdictions provided devices on loan to homes
with limited or no technology for students (e.g., iPads or tablets, laptops, or Chromebooks), and a limited
number of those jurisdictions also included the provision of additional access to internet connectivity.
Most jurisdictions provided non-digital educational packages for students with limited or no internet
as a part of their announced planning (e.g., both the TVO-managed Independent Learning Centre
and the Alberta Distance Learning Centre had access to signicant print-based correspondence
packets). Further, most jurisdictions outlined specic attendance requirements and/or teacher-student
correspondence expectations to ensure continued interaction.
Finally, only British Columbia and the three territories explicitly provided considerations for Indigenous
learners in the form of continued access to support sta, the inclusion of on-the-land and land-based
learning approaches where family activities (e.g., motorcycle maintenance, hunting and shing,
beadwork, etc.) contributed to the successful completion of students for the 2019-20 school year.
Again, this is not to say that the jurisdictions above did not include any of these items, only that those
jurisdictions did not make any reference to that fact in their public announcements.
16 State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada
3. Jurisdictional Summaries
The following sub-sections contain a summary of the revisions to the proles for each province,
territory, and federal jurisdiction. These summaries focus specically 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 prole 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 proles;
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 specic 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 emergency remote teaching response to the pandemic (i.e.,
summarized from Nagel, Barbour, & LaBonte, 2020).
The full proles for each of these jurisdictions can be found at https://k12sotn.ca/data/
State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada 17
3.1 Newfoundland and Labrador (NL)
522,994 Population
260 Number of K-12 Schools
63,722 Number of K-12 Students
1Number of K-12 E-Learning Programs
1,092 Number of K-12 E-Learning Students
e-Learning Updates
There have been no signicant regulatory changes in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
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 dierent
courses. The CDLI also allows 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.
The full provincial prole can be found at https://k12sotn.ca/nl/
3.2 Nova Scotia (NS)
971,395 Population
371 Number of K-12 Schools
123,239 Number of K-12 Students
2Number of K-12 E-Learning Programs
~106,627 Number of K-12 E-Learning Students
e-Learning Updates
There have been no signicant regulatory changes in the province of Nova Scotia. Based on
gures provided by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, there
were approximately 1,407 students enrolled in oerings from the Nova Scotia Virtual School and
approximately 834 students enrolled in courses oered through the correspondence studies program
during the 2019-20 school year. Additionally, there were 120,000 students with accounts in various
blended learning tools oered by the Department.
The full provincial prole can be found at https://k12sotn.ca/ns/
18 State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada
3.3 Prince Edward Island (PE)
159,249 Population
63 Number of K-12 Schools
20,131 Number of K-12 Students
0Number of K-12 E-Learning Programs
133 Number of K-12 E-Learning Students
e-Learning Updates
There have been no regulatory changes in the province of Prince Edward Island. There are still no
distance and/or online learning programs in the province, and students continue to enrol in programs
oered from New Brunswick. Based on gures provided by the Department of Education, Early Learning
and Culture, during the 2019-20 school year there were 121 students enrolled in English-language
distance education and 12 students enrolled in French-language distance education programs. Other
e-learning participation levels are still not formally tracked by the province.
The full provincial prole can be found at https://k12sotn.ca/pe/
3.4 New Brunswick (NB)
781,024 Population
307 Number of K-12 Schools
98,906 Number of K-12 Students
2Number of K-12 E-Learning Programs
~12,000 Number of K-12 E-Learning Students
e-Learning Updates
There have been no regulatory changes in the management of English-speaking distance learning in
province of New Brunswick. However, the French-speaking distance learning program has created a
management committee to allow school districts to be involved in decision making.
Based on gures provided by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, during
the 2019-20 school year there were approximately 2,200 regular students enrolled in the Anglophone
program, while there 1,270 students enrolled in the Francophone program. There were unreported
numbers of English and French face-to-face students registered in the learning management system
using approximately 300 or more online courses in a more blended learning model under the direction
of their local school’s classroom teachers.
The full provincial prole can be found at https://k12sotn.ca/nb/
State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada 19
3.5 Quebec (QC)
8,572,054 Population
3,102 Number of K-12 Schools
1,003,322 Number of K-12 Students
5+ Number of K-12 E-Learning Programs
~55,000+ Number of K-12 E-Learning Students
e-Learning Updates
There have been no regulatory changes in the province of Quebec. Based on a 2017 amendment to the
Loi sur l’instruction publique that allowed the Minister of Education to authorize pilot projects to test or
innovate distance education, at least one pilot project was underway during the 2019-20 school year.
However, the Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur was not able to provide data on
the number of students, teachers, or schools that were involved. It was reported that the pilot project
was focused on the synchronous mode of delivery and that course design was underway to enable
asynchronous delivery.
During the 2019-20 school year it was estimated there were 35,000 students enrolled in distance
and/or online learning courses. It is also believed that there were at least approximately 20,000
students enrolled in formal blended learning opportunities. These gures do not include students
engaged in the above-mentioned pilot project(s).
The full provincial prole can be found at https://k12sotn.ca/qc/
3.6 Ontario (ON)
14,723,497 Population
4,844 Number of K-12 Schools
2,056,055 Number of K-12 Students
~70 Number of K-12 E-Learning Programs
~850,000 Number of K-12 E-Learning Students
e-Learning Updates
In November 2019 the Minister of Education announced that Ontario students would be required to
take two 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 (Ministry
of Education, 2019).
20 State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada
Additionally, the Ontario Educational Communications Authority Act and the Ontario French-language
Educational Communications Authority Act, 2008 were amended in July 2020 to:
provide that its objects include supporting the establishment, administration and
coordination of distance education programs by or with prescribed persons or entities
and discharging any prescribed duties. Related regulation-making powers are added.
(Government of Ontario, 2020, p. iv)
This change broadened the mandates of both Television Ontario (TVO) and Télévision française de
l’Ontario (TFO) to position them to provide centralized administration, coordination and support
for teacher-led online learning in the English-language and French-language publicly-funded
education systems.
Based on gures provided by the Ministry of Education, there were approximately 61,000 students
engaged in online courses oered by public district school board eLearning programs during the
2018-19 school year (i.e., the most recent year that data is available), as well as between 2,500 and
3,000 French-language students taking courses through the Consortium d’apprentissage virtuel de
langue française de l’Ontario and approximately 15,000 students enrolled in online courses oered
by approved private schools. Additionally, there were approximately 19,000 students enrolled in
distance courses oered by the Independent Learning Centre. Finally, there were approximately
849,000 unique student logins in the provincial learning management system from classroom-based or
online students.
The full provincial prole can be found at https://k12sotn.ca/on/
3.7 Manitoba (MB)
1,369,000 Population
810 Number of K-12 Schools
208,796 Number of K-12 Students
~38 Number of K-12 E-Learning Programs
~13,749 Number of K-12 E-Learning Students
e-Learning Updates
There have been no regulatory changes in the province of Manitoba. Each school division in the
province continues to participate in one or more of the three distance education program options.
During the 2019-20 school year, the ISO program (i.e., provincial electronic/print-based model)
enrolled approximately 3,921 active students in 55 English courses and 13 French courses for grades
9-12 students, issuing 1,602 credits. The TMO program (i.e., audio conference model) oered 21 English
courses for grades 9-12 students and saw 328 course enrolments from 17 dierent schools, issuing
State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada 21
315 credits. Finally, the WBC Option (i.e., learning management system course model) enrolled an
estimated 9,500 students. Beginning on April 6, 2020, all new WBC were delivered using Brightspace
by Desire2Learn (D2L), with Blackboard Learn continuing to be available for delivery of existing courses
until June 30, 2020.
Additionally, Manitoba Education released a formal denition of blended learning – “a combination
of traditional face-to-face classroom learning and online/remote learning” (Manitoba Education,
2020, para 1). This was included in a “Blended Learning” addition to the traditional “Distance Learning”
section of the Manitoba Education website. This new resource provides teachers and school leaders
with advantages, tips, examples, useful tools, and resources.
The full provincial prole can be found at https://k12sotn.ca/mb/
3.8 Saskatchewan (SK)
1,181,987 Population
780 Number of K-12 Schools
186,036 Number of K-12 Students
16 Number of K-12 E-Learning Programs
12,456 Number of K-12 E-Learning Students
e-Learning Updates
There have been no regulatory changes in the province of Saskatchewan. There are currently 16
provincial schools in 13 school divisions, one independent school, and one First Nation educational
authority that are active and recognized K-12 online schools. During the 2019-20 school year, there
were 13,666 course enrolments involving 8,138 unique students in Grades 10 to 12. Finally, the Ministry
does not monitor blended learning activity.
The full provincial prole can be found at https://k12sotn.ca/sk/
22 State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada
3.9 Alberta (AB)
4,421,876 Population
2,503 Number of K-12 Schools
741,802 Number of K-12 Students
34 Number of K-12 E-Learning Programs
82,857 Number of K-12 E-Learning Students
e-Learning Updates
There have been minor regulatory changes in the province of Alberta with respect to distance/
online learning. However, Alberta Education changed the terminology for a program that consists of
two parts (i.e., where the school-authority is responsible for the student’s education program, and
where the parent is responsible for their child’s education program) from blended program to “shared
responsibility” program to become more aligned with the current e-learning vernacular.
At present, Alberta Education lists 34 dierent distance and/or online learning programs as a part of
their website directory. During the 2018-19 school year there were a total of 82,857 students coded as
being enrolled in online learning/distance education programs. Alberta Education currently does not
track blended learning activity.
The full provincial prole can be found at https://k12sotn.ca/ab/
3.10 British Columbia (BC)
5,100,000 Population
1,569 Number of K-12 Schools
548,702 Number of K-12 Students
69 Number of K-12 E-Learning Programs
~59,000 Number of K-12 E-Learning Students
e-Learning Updates
There have been no regulatory changes in the province of BC. In 2018 an Independent Review Panel
that included four working groups was launched to consult with school districts and independent
schools to examine how K-12 education, including distributed learning, was funded (Government
of British Columbia, 2019). One of the items this Panel was tasked with was assisting the Ministry in
developing policy and program delivery models for distributed learning to reect the per-student-
based funding model. The process is still on-going.
State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada 23
However, funding for distributed learning in independent schools was changed at the end of the 2019-
20 school year, but changes will not take eect until the 2020-21 school year.
In 2019-20 there were 69 district-level public distributed learning schools and independent distributed
learning schools that enrolled approximately 59,000 unique students in one or more courses.
Additionally, Open School BC also provided provincial content and online hosting services on a cost-
recovery model to school districts lacking the capacity or desire to manage their own distributed
learning program. Finally, the Ministry of Education does not gather formal data on blended
learning programs.
The full provincial prole can be found at https://k12sotn.ca/bc/
3.11 Yukon (YT)
35,874 Population
33 Number of K-12 Schools
5,456 Number of K-12 Students
2Number of K-12 E-Learning Programs
654 Number of K-12 E-Learning Students
e-Learning Updates
There have been no regulatory changes in the Yukon territory. During the 2019-20 school year, the
territory’s only English-language online program – the Aurora Virtual School – enrolled 172 students
and the territory’s only French-language online program – École Nomade – enrolled 17 students.
Additionally, there were 35 grade 5-12 students enrolled in courses oered by one of the four
British Columbia schools authorized to operate in the territory and another 15 students enrolled in
programming oered by the Centre francophone d’éducation à distance. Finally, during the 2019-20
school year approximately 15% of grades 5-12 students from the territory’s 30 schools involved in K-12
blended learning.
The full provincial prole can be found at https://k12sotn.ca/yk/
24 State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada
3.12 Northwest Territories (NT)
44,826 Population
49 Number of K-12 Schools
8,700 Number of K-12 Students
1Number of K-12 E-Learning Programs
131 Number of K-12 E-Learning Students
e-Learning Updates
There have been no regulatory changes in the Northwest Territories. During the 2019-20 school
year 85 students were enrolled in Northern Distance Learning, representing 201 course enrolments.
Additionally, there were approximately 46 grade 9-12 students enrolled in distance learning courses
oered through the Alberta Distance Learning Centre. The Department of Education, Culture and
Employment does not formally track blended learning.
The full provincial prole can be found at https://k12sotn.ca/nt/
3.13 Nunavut (NV)
35,944 Population
19 Number of K-12 Schools
10,107 Number of K-12 Students
0Number of K-12 E-Learning Programs
~19 Number of K-12 E-Learning Students
e-Learning Updates
There were no changes in the regulatory framework for Nunavut. There are no K-12 distance/online
learning programs in Nunavut. However, during the 2019-20 school year there were 19 students
enrolled in courses oered by the Alberta Distance Learning Centre. The Department of Education
does not formally track blended learning.
The full provincial prole can be found at https://k12sotn.ca/nv/
State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada 25
3.14 Federal
1,008,955 Population
4952Number of K-12 Schools
~109,400 Number of K-12 Students
5Number of K-12 E-Learning Programs
~2,200 Number of K-12 E-Learning Students
1 2016 Census data
2 refers to those reporting a 2019-20 nominal roll directly to ISC
3 2016-17 data
e-Learning Updates
There were signicant changes, which were previously announced, which took eect for the 2019-
20 school year that were based on a four-year process between Indigenous Services Canada (ISC)
and the Assembly of First Nations. These changes include the discontinuation of the New Paths for
Education Program and revisions to the Elementary and Secondary Education Program to make
e-learning more comprehensive in nature and to focus on partnerships directly with various First
Nations. On April 1, 2019, ISC implemented a new co-developed policy and funding approach for
elementary and secondary education, to better meet the needs of First Nations students on reserve
and improve outcomes.
ISC collects enrolment data that include e-learning indicators such as: distance education, home
schooled (online sourced), virtual (Internet), classroom and distance education, and classroom and
virtual (Internet). However, to reect the Principle of First Nation Control of First Nation Education, ISC
no longer provides program level data. Based on individual program survey responses, it is estimated
there is a combined enrolment of approximately 2200 students in four distance/online programs.
Further, during the 2016-17 school year (i.e., the most recent data shared by the department), there
were 531 students engaged in blended learning.
The full federal prole can be found at https://k12sotn.ca/fnmi/
26 State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada
4. References
Barbour, M. K., & LaBonte, R. (2020). Stories from the eld: Voices of K-12 stakeholders during pandemic.
Canadian eLearning Network. https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.233.153/sgf.292.myftpupload.com/
wp-content/uploads/2020/12/A-Fall-Like-No-Other-Part-2-canelearn-remote-teaching-report3.pdf
Barbour, M. K., LaBonte, R., Kelly, K., Hodges, C., Moore, S., Lockee, B., Trust, T., Bond, A., & Hill, P. (2020).
Understanding pandemic pedagogy: Dierences between emergency remote, remote, and online teaching.
Canadian eLearning Network. https://k12sotn.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/understanding-
pandemic-pedagogy.pdf
Canadian Teachers Federation. (2000). Facts sheets on contractual issues in distance/online education.
Government of British Columbia. (2014). Distributed learning – Independent schools. https://www2.gov.
bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/administration/legislation-policy/independent-schools/
distributed-learning-independent-schools
Government of British Columbia. (2017). Distributed learning – General. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/
education-training/k-12/administration/legislation-policy/public-schools/distributed-learning-general
Government of British Columbia. (2019). K-12 public education funding model implementation. https://www2.
gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/administration/resource-management/k-12-funding-
and-allocation/funding-model
Government of Nova Scotia. (2020). Agreement between the Minister of Education and Early Childhood
Development of the Province of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union. https://nstu.blob.core.
windows.net/nstuwebsite/data/agreements/TPA%202019-2023%20-%20Final.pdf
Government of Ontario (2020). Bill 197, COVID-19 economic recovery act, 2020. https://www.ola.org/en/
legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-197
Hodges, C., Moore, S., Lockee, B., Trust, T., & Bond, A. (2020). The dierence between emergency remote
teaching and online learning. EDUCAUSE Review, 3. https://er.educause.edu/articles/2020/3/the-
dierence-between-emergency-remoteteaching-and-online-learning
Manitoba Education. (2020). Distance learning: Blended learning. https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/dl/
blended_learning.html or https://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/dl/docs/blend_learn.pdf
Ministry of Education. (2019). Ontario brings learning into the digital age: Province announces plan to enhance
online learning, become global leader. https://news.ontario.ca/en/release/54695/ontario-brings-learning-
into-the-digital-age
Nagle, J., Barbour, M. K., & LaBonte, R. (2020). Documenting triage: Detailing the response of provinces and
territories to emergency remote teaching. Canadian eLearning Network. https://sgf.292.myftpupload.com/
wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Documenting-Triage-canelearn-emergency-remote-teaching-report1.pdf
Nagle, J., LaBonte, R., & Barbour, M. K. (2020). A fall like no other: Between basics and preparing for an
extended transition during turmoil. Canadian eLearning Network. https://sgf.292.myftpupload.
com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/A-Fall-Like-No-Other-canelearn-remote-teaching-report2.pdf
State of the Nation: K-12 Online Learning in Canada 27
5. Call for Sponsors
2021 State of the Nation: K-12 E-Learning in Canada Study
We are seeking funding for the 2021 K-12 e-learning study of Canada. If your organization is interested
in participating through sponsorship by supporting the fourteenth anniversary edition of the State of
the Nation Study: K-12 E-Learning in Canada, please contact Michael Barbour, principal investigator at
mkbarbour@gmail.com
Your participation as a sponsor helps support more widespread participation from online and blended
programs across the country in the K-12 e-learning in Canada project and is an ideal opportunity
to demonstrate your organization’s interest in and commitment to supporting online and blended
learning. Your company or organization will be recognized for its support of virtual schools seeking to
eectively expand educational options for K-12 students across Canada.
Please review the sponsor benets and opportunities for the State of the Nation: K-12 E-Learning in
Canada study:
Recognition in all post-study press releases, presentations and distribution of information;
Opportunity to provide input into the program survey;
Participate in project conference calls;
Project sponsor name and logo listed on all promotional materials;
Project sponsor name and logo listed on the nal report;
Receive hard copies of the nal report;
Receive Executive Summary of the nal report for use on company website and for marketing
purposes; and
Receive recognition as a thought leader for cutting-edge research of K-12 e-learning in Canada
for sponsoring the research study.
The plans for the 2021 study include an updating of the K-12 policy and activity reports for each of
the provinces. Additionally, the brief issue papers and vignettes from a variety of K-12 e-learning
programs across the dierent province and territories will return for the 2021 report. Also, researchers
will continue to update the individual program survey response. Finally, there will be a continued
development of the online version of the report – particularly the French portion of the website.
For-prot and non-prot institutions, organizations, individuals, foundations and companies
are welcome to partner with the State of the Nation: K-12 E-Learning in Canada research team for
sponsoring the study. Please consider sponsorship of this important survey and report to be
conducted annually. Your consideration is deeply appreciated.
Published by
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Article
Full-text available
Well-planned online learning experiences are meaningfully different from courses offered online in response to a crisis or disaster. Colleges and universities working to maintain instruction during the COVID-19 pandemic should understand those differences when evaluating this emergency remote teaching.
Stories from the field: Voices of K-12 stakeholders during pandemic
  • M K Barbour
  • R Labonte
Barbour, M. K., & LaBonte, R. (2020). Stories from the field: Voices of K-12 stakeholders during pandemic. Canadian eLearning Network. https://secureservercdn.net/198.71.233.153/sgf.292.myftpupload.com/ wp-content/uploads/2020/12/A-Fall-Like-No-Other-Part-2-canelearn-remote-teaching-report3.pdf
Understanding pandemic pedagogy: Differences between emergency remote, remote, and online teaching
  • M K Barbour
  • R Labonte
  • K Kelly
  • C Hodges
  • S Moore
  • B Lockee
  • T Trust
  • A Bond
  • P Hill
Barbour, M. K., LaBonte, R., Kelly, K., Hodges, C., Moore, S., Lockee, B., Trust, T., Bond, A., & Hill, P. (2020). Understanding pandemic pedagogy: Differences between emergency remote, remote, and online teaching. Canadian eLearning Network. https://k12sotn.ca/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/understandingpandemic-pedagogy.pdf
Facts sheets on contractual issues in distance/online education. Government of British Columbia
Canadian Teachers Federation. (2000). Facts sheets on contractual issues in distance/online education. Government of British Columbia. (2014). Distributed learning -Independent schools. https://www2.gov. bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/administration/legislation-policy/independent-schools/ distributed-learning-independent-schools
Agreement between the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development of the Province of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union
  • British Government Of
  • Columbia
Government of British Columbia. (2017). Distributed learning -General. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/ education-training/k-12/administration/legislation-policy/public-schools/distributed-learning-general Government of British Columbia. (2019). K-12 public education funding model implementation. https://www2. gov.bc.ca/gov/content/education-training/k-12/administration/resource-management/k-12-fundingand-allocation/funding-model Government of Nova Scotia. (2020). Agreement between the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development of the Province of Nova Scotia and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union. https://nstu.blob.core. windows.net/nstuwebsite/data/agreements/TPA%202019-2023%20-%20Final.pdf Government of Ontario (2020). Bill 197, COVID-19 economic recovery act, 2020. https://www.ola.org/en/ legislative-business/bills/parliament-42/session-1/bill-197
Documenting triage: Detailing the response of provinces and territories to emergency remote teaching
  • J Nagle
  • M K Barbour
  • R Labonte
Nagle, J., Barbour, M. K., & LaBonte, R. (2020). Documenting triage: Detailing the response of provinces and territories to emergency remote teaching. Canadian eLearning Network. https://sgf.292.myftpupload.com/ wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Documenting-Triage-canelearn-emergency-remote-teaching-report1.pdf
A fall like no other: Between basics and preparing for an extended transition during turmoil
  • J Nagle
  • R Labonte
  • M K Barbour
Nagle, J., LaBonte, R., & Barbour, M. K. (2020). A fall like no other: Between basics and preparing for an extended transition during turmoil. Canadian eLearning Network. https://sgf.292.myftpupload. com/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/A-Fall-Like-No-Other-canelearn-remote-teaching-report2.pdf