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An Analysis of Digital Education in Canada in 2017-2019
September 15, 2021
Charlene A. VanLeeuwen, Royal Roads University, University of Prince Edward Island, Canada
George Veletsianos, Royal Roads University, Canada
Digital education refers to in-person, blended, and fully online learning efforts, as well as attempts to capture a wide range of teaching and learning contexts which make use of digital technology. While digital education is pervasive in Canada, pan-Canadian data on digital education are relatively scarce. The Canadian Digital Learning Research Association/Association Canadienne de Recherche sur la Formation en Ligne conducted pan-Canadian surveys of higher education institutions (2017-2019), collecting data on the digital education landscape and publishing annual reports of its results. Previous analyses of the data have used quantitative approaches. However, the surveys also collected responses to open-ended questions. In this presentation, we report on our systematic analysis of qualitative data exploring the digital education landscape in Canada and its changes over time. Findings shed light on the growth of digital education, the situated and multidimensional nature of digital education, the adoption of openness, quality, and rigour, the development of alternative credentials and our understanding of faculty training and support for digital education as articulated by higher education institutions.
Keywords: digital education, openness, survey

Dr. Charlene A. VanLeeuwen was a postdoctoral researcher at Royal Roads University and is an instructor and coordinator of the Teaching and Learning Centre at the University of Prince Edward Island. Charlene has a background in qualitative interpretive research methods and employs a broad range of digital education technologies and approaches in her teaching practice. Her research interests revolve around digital learning, faculty development, community-based learning, and international development work in rural Kenya.

Dr. George Veletsianos is Professor at Royal Roads University, where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Innovative Learning and Technology and the Commonwealth of Learning Chair in Flexible Learning at Royal Roads University. George’s research aims to understand and improve teaching, learning, access, equity, and participation in digital learning environments. His research interests center around learner and faculty experiences surrounding online learning, flexible learning, networked scholarship, and emerging technopedagogical practices.

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