This post is also available in: Français (French)

  • The CDLRA/ACRFL is Canada’s top research body for tracking the development of online and digital learning in public post-secondary institutions.
  • We are a non-profit corporation. Our work provides value to Canada’s post-secondary institutions in order to inform planning, strategy, and policy.
  • We are uniquely positioned to provide insight into the status of online learning and the use of digital technologies in higher education nation-wide.
  • We have established a comprehensive roster of contacts within postsecondary institutions which is constantly updated.
  • We have developed nationally agreed standard definitions and metrics for digital learning.
  • We track the trends and developments in digital learning in Canada and are able to compare those trends with other constituencies.  
  • Our team consists of very knowledgeable and experienced researchers and leaders in online and digital learning in Canada and the USA while working and producing reports in both French and English.

Mission Statement

Our mission is to measure the evolution of digital learning at publicly funded post-secondary institutions in Canada and to assess its impact on employment, skills development and digital competencies across the country.

History of the Canadian Digital Learning Research Association

In 2017, Dr. Tony Bates and a team of researchers partnered with Bay View Analytics (formerly Babson Survey Research Group) and the Western Co-operative for Educational Technology (WCET). Together, they began conducting the annual Canadian National Survey of Online and Digital Learning. The National Survey tracks changes in online offerings, learning technologies, and digital strategies at all 234 publicly-funded, post-secondary institutions across the country. Prior to 2017, there had been no such tracking of online learning in Canada.

As we have grown, our research strategy has evolved.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, online learning became a hot topic in higher education. In response, we expanded the scope of our research beyond the National Survey and launched the Canadian Pulse Project. The Canadian Pulse Project is a multi-stage effort to track the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on higher education institutions across Canada.

The findings from this project will also help inform the 2020 National Report, which will differ from past years due to constraints and unique challenges resulting from the pandemic. We will return to tracking institutional enrolments through our traditional National Survey in Spring 2021.

To learn more about our past publications and current projects, please visit our publications page: http://www.cdlra-acrfl.ca/publications/

To inquire about research initiatives, sponsorship/partnership opportunities, or to connect with our team please contact us.