Canada is a large country occupying over half of the continent of North America, touching three oceans - Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic. Its population was estimated in the 2006 census as around 31.5 million but other estimates such as the CIA Factbook give up to and over 33 million currently. (Rapid immigration is one source of the discrepancy but not, it seems, the only one - the issue has generated some debate.)
Thus there would seem to be a strong argument that a Commonwealth country of this size would have many points of relevance, generally and in education, to many larger countries in the European Union. While true generally (e.g. for industrial policy) it is not at all true for education - the provinces are the relevant entities. See later for details.
Many if not most Canadian universities have competence in e-learning at least in pockets. Several major e-learning systems past and present have come from Canada, some from academia but most not - for example, in recent years WebCT and Desire2Learn, and many years ago the CoSy and FirstClass conferencing systems used at the Open University. We give the main ones below of relevance to an EU audience.
Canada is divided into 13 provinces and territories of which the most important and relevant in e-learning terms are the following:
- British Columbia, population 4.1 million, thus rather smaller than Scotland but rather larger than Wales and similar in size to Ireland - the base of the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Simon Fraser University (SFU), two notable institutions in e-learning; and also of Thompson Rivers University (TRU) which now operates the Open Learning Agency for British Columbia. Another example is Royal Roads University.
- Alberta, population 3.2 million, thus a bit more than Wales - the base of Athabasca University, Canada's Open University (a smaller version of the UK Open University), but also of the much smaller but nimble Mount Royal College.
- Ontario, population 12.1 million, thus not really comparable to any UK home nation (but approaching that of the Netherlands) - with several illustrious institutions. Some have a long history in distance education (e.g. University of Guelph, which has over 60 online courses ), and others (e.g. the University of Waterloo, and the University of Ottawa) have extensive blended learning initiatives. The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) contains eminent researchers in schools e-learning known across Europe and beyond.
- Quebec, in particular the Télé-université de Québec.
For further details at the province level see the particular province entries listed in Category:Provinces and territories of Canada.
For further general information see Wikipedia:Canada.
Education in Canada
For a general description of education in Canada see Education:Canada.
For a description more focussed to e-learning see E-learning:Canada.
OER in Canada
In a few cases WikiEducator may have further informarion - see OER:Canada.
For further information check out http://www.google.co.uk/search?num=50&hl=en&rlz=1C1CHNU_enGB365GB366&q=%22OER+in+Canada%22&btnG=Search&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=