Following the success of the 2017 national survey of online learning in Canadian post-secondary education, an invitation to participate in the 2018 version of the survey will go out to all Canadian universities and colleges in the next few days.
This year the team is being led by Tricia Donovan, formerly Director of eCampus Alberta, with support from Eric Martel, Denis Mayer, Vivian Forssman, Brian Desbiens, Ross Paul, Jeff Seaman, Russ Poulin, and myself.
With support so far confirmed from eCampus Ontario, Contact North, Campus Manitoba and BCcampus, we have the minimum funding required to guarantee the survey this year, but we are also in discussions with other sponsors.
The questionnaire will be similar to last year but there will be some changes in the light of experience from last year. The focus however will still be on obtaining accurate data about online and distance learning enrolments, and institutional policies.
As a result of the 2017 survey, we now have a more complete list of institutions and more accurate contact information for each institution. The invitation will go to the main contact in each institution, with a copy to other contacts on our list. The questionnaire will continue to have both anglophone and francophone versions. We have added to the existing database some federal institutions, some private colleges with significant public funding, and some institutions we missed last year, especially in Québec.
Once again, we will be asking a wide range of organizations to help in the promotion of the 2018 survey.
We will be asking all institutions to complete the survey within three weeks of receiving the invitation, as we did last year. We anticipate having the 2018 reports ready by November, 2018.
With the help of the Ontario College Admission System, we have established a non-profit organization, the Canadian Digital Learning Research Association/Association Canadienne de Recherche sur la Formation en Ligne, to administer the funding and management of the survey. The Directors of the Association are Tricia Donovan, Denis Mayer and myself.
We will also be establishing a longer-term advisory group, but our priority at the moment is to get out this year’s questionnaire.
The two existing survey web sites, onlinelearningsurveycanada.ca and formationenlignecanada.ca, will continue. We will maintain all the 2017 reports and data, but we are creating new spaces for the 2018 survey.
What you can do
If you work in a Canadian university or college, please lend your support to this survey. Last year’s results have already had a tremendous impact on institutional and government policies.
In most cases the invitation will have gone to the Provost’s Office or the Office of the VP Education, with copies to other centres such as Continuing Studies, Institutional Research, the Registry or the Centre for Teaching and Learning, depending on the institutional organization.
If by June 22, 2018 you think your institution should have received an invitation to participate but you have heard nothing, and you should have done, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
We know that internal communication can sometimes be a problem!
And thank you!
If you are involved in providing data or answers to the questionnaire, we thank you sincerely for your efforts. We realise the survey involves quite a lot of work and we do really appreciate your efforts if you are involved