The Canadian National Online and Digital Learning Survey aims to track the status and development of online, distance and digital learning in public post-secondary education across Canada.

Survey Updates

The 2019 National Online and Digital Learning Survey had an 70% response rate, with 164 of 234 public institutions responding. To all Canadian post-secondary institutions, a big thanks for your active participation!

The 2019 National Online and Digital Learning Survey Results Presentation from the Global Online Summit 2019 is now available.

Data gathering for the 2019 National Online and Digital Learning Survey was undertaken between April – July, 2019 with

  • a modified questionnaire with more detailed questions,
  • refined  enrolment questions
  • a roster of 234 public post-secondary institutions

Survey Leadership

The National Online and Digital Learning Survey is operated by the Canadian Digital Learning Research Association (CDLRA)/ Association canadienne de recherche sur la formation en ligne (ACRFL), a federally incorporated not-for-profit organization. CDLRA/ACFRL receives funding and support from eCampusOntario, BCcampus, Contact North, Campus Manitoba, OCAS, Quebec Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur, Pearson Canada and private sector companies.

Dr. Tricia Donovan serves as the CDLRA/ACFRL Executive Director, and Dr. Tony Bates and Dr. Denis Mayer also serve as Directors of the Board. Nicole Johnson joined the team in 2019 and has served as the primary author and Research Associate for the 2019 Survey.

All public survey data is open and hosted by OCAS, the centralized application service for Ontario’s public colleges, and shared service provider for organizations in the higher education sector. Researchers intererested in accessing the data to pursue additional research are invited to request access here.

In the USA, the Babson Survey Research Group (BSRG) and the Federal Department of Education have been surveying pot-secondary institutions and collecting data on online and distance learning for more than 10 years. These annual surveys have recorded rapid growth in online learning and identified and informed policies and directions being taken by U.S. universities and colleges. Institutional planners, state higher education officials and the media have made heavy use of the annual survey reports.

Until 2017, there had been no such tracking of online and distance learning in Canada.

Thanks to the leadership of Dr. Tony Bates and efforts of other Canadian independent researchers, who worked closely with researchers from the Babson Survey Research Group and the Western Co-operative for Educational Technology (WCET) the first Canadian National Survey of Online Learning and Distance Education was conducted in 2017. Invitations for participation were extended to 203 Canadian public post-secondary institutions and there was an excellent response rate (67%) to this first Canadian survey. The findings show that online learning is alive and well and has been steadily increasing at   a rate of 10% -15% per annum, and two-thirds of Canada’s post-secondary institutions identified online learning as very or extremely important to their future plans. The results of the survey were publicly launched on 17 October, 2017 at the ICDE World Congress on Online Learning in Toronto.

The results from 2018 are available in the Publications section

The 2018 Survey had an 80% response rate, with 187 institutions responding!

Sign up now and download the 2018 report.