Embargoed until: 3:00am: November 20, 2019
Toronto: Growth in online learning continues in Canadian universities, colleges, and CEGEPs as they increasingly offer flexible access to post-secondary courses and programs throughout the country, according to a recent report released by the Canadian Digital Learning and Research Association. The results of the 2019 Tracking Online and Digital Learning in Canada survey can be found online at: http://onlinelearningsurveycanada.ca/publications-2019/

“The 2019 survey results show continued growth in online course enrolments across all sectors of Canadian post-secondary education” says Nicole Johnson, Research Director, CDLRA. “Nearly three-quarters of all institutions reported that online learning is very or extremely important for the institution’s long-term plan”

Key findings include: 

  • Online course registrations have increased 10% over 2016/17
  • There is interest in a wide range of alternative credentials 
  • Virtually all institutions use LMS technology, and video technologies have become an important tool for institutions.
  • The majority of institutions view online learning as strategically important, primarily to help increase access to post-secondary studies.
  • Issues related to faculty adoption and support continue to be the top barriers to further expansion
  • There continues to be a mismatch between the perceived importance of online and the extent of implement and faculty training.

“Blended learning is offered at the majority of universities and colleges and approximately one-half of institutions expect their blended/hybrid enrolments to increase for next year.” says Tricia Donovan, Executive Director, CDLRA. “Collectively, we believe that reporting on online and digital learning trends and practices will help institutions to capture more data on their initiatives, challenges, successes and opportunities for innovations in faculty and institutional practice.”

The findings of the National Survey underscore the expanding interest in online and digital learning in Canada. At eCampusOntario, we look forward to putting a spotlight on Ontario specific results at our TESS 2019 event. As a strong advocate of the national survey, eCampusOntario is deeply committed to supporting data capture that will influence evidence-based decision making about online and digital learning in Ontario’ s post-secondary sector,” says David Porter, CEO, eCampusOntario.

This survey was initiated in 2017 by Dr. Tony Bates, a Canadian consultant, leader and author of many books and articles on the adoption of online learning. The third annual survey was conducted  April – August, 2019. The survey team, led by Dr. Tricia Donovan, Dr. Tony Bates and Dr. Jeff Seaman and Nicole Johnson targeted over 200 public post-secondary institutions across Canada, and achieved a high response rate of 70% from all universities, colleges and CEGEPs across the country.

The project is supported by eCampusOntario, BCcampus, Campus Manitoba, Quebec Ministère de l’Éducation et de l’Enseignement supérieur, CICan, Contact North, OCAS, Pearson Canada, D2L and partners from the USA: Babson Survey Research Group and WCET. By gathering Canadian data in a regular and consistent form, this data is available for use in Canada, and for comparison with broader North American trends.  

For more information, contact Dr. Tricia Donovan at tdonovan@onlinelearningsurveycanada.ca