Evaluating Virtual Schooling

Virtual learning can provide a cost-effective alternative to traditional classroom-based learning


The purpose of this project was to inform policy makers about virtual learning programs in Canada. The project established a set of indicators by which outcomes of virtual learning can be compared with those of traditional learning in the same jurisdictions. Indicators included learning progress, cost-effectiveness, and student satisfaction levels. This research also examined some secondary questions, including which students benefitted most from virtual learning, and what kinds of teacher training was required.

Grant Outputs

E-learning: Studying Canada’s Virtual Secondary Schools –

This report examines how effective on-line delivery of learning materials compares to conventional approaches. The report includes six virtual school case studies, and the establishment of some initial benchmarks and indicators for the continued evaluation of virtual schools. The report draws no conclusions about the quality of education offered at the different types of schools, but finds that virtual schools are 20-40% less expensive to run than conventional schools. The report resulted in a decision by the BC provincial government to allow the removal of restrictions and provide more equal funding for virtual schooling.

Grant Details

  • Amount: $127,623
  • Type: Project Grant
  • Total Budget: $127,623
  • Period: Dec 1998 to Mar 2001
  • Recipient:

    Society for the Advancement of Excellence in Education -

  • Project Leader: Helen Raham
  • Keywords: Distance Education , Virtual Learning
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