The Canadian National Survey of Online Learning and Distance Education in public post-secondary education aimed at tracking the status and development of online and distance learning across Canada.
In the USA, the Babson Survey Research Group (BSRG) https://www.onlinelearningsurvey.com/ and the Federal Department of Education https://nces.ed.gov/ipeds/ have been surveying institutions and collecting this kind of data for more than 10 years. These annual surveys have recorded rapid growth in online learning and identified 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. However, until 2017, there had been no such annual tracking of online and distance learning in Canada.
Consequently, a national survey was launched during the summer of 2017, with an invitation to complete a questionnaire going to all 203 Canadian public post-secondary institutions. Responses were received from 140 of the 203 institutions, representing 78% of the post-secondary student population. This was the result of strong support for the survey from Canadian provincial government agencies, universities and colleges and their associations, and Pearson Canada and D2L in the private sector.
Canadian independent researchers conducted the research, working closely with the researchers from the Babson Survey Research Group, who provided technical support, and from the Western Co-operative for Educational Technology (WCET) http://wcet.wiche.edu/, who provided assistance with data analysis.
The results of the survey were publicly launched on 17 October, 2017, at the ICDE World Congress on Online Learning http://onlinelearning2017.ca/en/ in Toronto. Subsequently, a not-for-profit association, the Canadian Digital Learning Research Association, has been formed to manage and conduct subsequent surveys. The next survey is taking place in June, 2018.
Responses to the 2017 survey were received from 140 of the 203 institutions, representing 78% of the post-secondary student population.