Campus Manitoba joins national effort to support flexible learning research

Trent GillAnnouncements, News

Campus Manitoba – NEWS RELEASE

Campus Manitoba is pleased to announce its support for the National Survey of Online and Distance Education in Canadian Post-Secondary Education.

Campus Manitoba and its Canadian consortium counterparts BCcampus, Campus Alberta, Contact North and eCampusOntario have committed financial and in-kind resources to help launch this important project.

Lead researcher Dr. Tony Bates is passionate about this research and is “excited to be leading an effort to capture comprehensive Canadian data on online learning and distance education.”

Currently, Canada’s post-secondary institutions are without updated national data on how many students are taking online courses, or what proportion of courses in Canadian universities or colleges are online.

In the USA, the Babson Survey Research Group, WCET and the Federal Department of Education 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 universities and colleges in the United States. Institutional planners, state higher education officials and the media have made heavy use of the annual survey reports.

The Canadian Survey is being launched with support from Dr. Jeff Seaman, from the Babson Survey Research Group, and Russell Poulin, from WCET.  The survey will be launched in late April, 2017 and will focus initially on credit courses and programs in public funded post-secondary institutions. Independent Canadian researchers will conduct the research.  As well as Dr. Bates, Jeff Seaman and Russell Poulin, the team includes Dr. Ross Paul (universities), Brian Desbiens (colleges) and Denis Mayer (francophone institutions).

Dr. Tricia Donovan, Executive Director for eCampus Alberta, serves on the research team. “It is critical that we try to capture this data across Canada,” she said. “It can provide an important snapshot of the growing participation in online learning and distance education country-wide.”

Campus Manitoba also welcomes the survey as an important step for research into flexible learning in Canada.

“For over 25 years, Campus Manitoba has been engaged in supporting online education in Manitoba,” says Dave Neale, Executive Director of Campus Manitoba. “We are eager to support research into the expansion of flexible learning and how it impacts student success across Canada. It is important for Manitoba’s post-secondary community to have this information as flexible learning continues to grow in the province.”

The results will be made available to and owned by Canadian colleges and universities. Only aggregated data will be made publicly available. The results of the survey will also be publicly available for the 27th ICDE World Congress on Online Learning in Toronto, October 17 -19, 2017.

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For more information, contact:
Dave Neale
Executive Campus Manitoba
nealed@campusmanitoba.ca


Campus Manitoba is a consortium of Manitoba’s public post-secondary institutions. Through collaborative projects and shared services, we facilitate student mobility and expand access to post-secondary programs for students in Manitoba. In addition to openedmb.ca, our websites include ecoursesmb.ca and setyourcourse.ca.