Toronto: As online learning continues to grow across Canada, Ontario’s post-secondary institutions are leading the way in increasing online course registrations, according to a new report.

An Ontario sub-report, part of the Canadian National Online and Digital Learning Survey, was released on January 23,2020. 2019 Publications can be found online at: http://onlinelearningsurveycanada.ca

Among other statistics, the report found that all institutions in Ontario offer online learning and the 14% growth in online registrations in Ontario exceeds the national average of 10%. 

“eCampusOntario continues to be a vital supporter and partner for the national survey and the participation rate of post-secondary institutions continues to be very strong.  We are excited to see the growth of online in digital learning in Ontario’s post-secondary institutions,” says Tricia Donovan, Executive Director of the Canadian Digital Learning Reaearch Association (CDLRA), which compiled the national survey. 

Key findings of the Ontario sub-report include:

All post-secondary institutions in Ontario offer online learning and the 14% growth in online registrations in Ontario exceeds the national average of 10%;

  • The majority of institutions are forecasting increased growth for the coming year;
  • Ontario has higher than average offerings of badges, micro-credentials, and stackable credits;  
  • Open Educational Resources (OER) use in Ontario is widespread with 80% of universities and 78% of colleges reporting the use of OER; 
  • Most institutions in Ontario reported that online learning is very or extremely important to their long-term plan.

David Porter, CEO of eCampusOntario, the national survey’s primary supporter, notes the essential role that the annual survey plays at shaping provincial and institutional online learning strategy. “The findings of the national survey underscore the expanding interest in online and digital learning in Canada. At eCampusOntario, we are working in partnership with CDLRA to gather meaningful and relevant data for evidence-based decision making in Ontario’s post-secondary sector. This is because we are aiming for increased success at every level of the institution, starting with students. »

 eCampusOntario recently hosted the first focus group for 2020 survey planning with representatives from nine Ontario colleges and nine Ontario universities.

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 from April to 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