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AlbertaAt present, the School Act includes the following provisions related to distance education:

  • Division 4 – Section 39. (3) The Minister may make regulations:
  • (e) providing for correspondence courses and the fees to be charged in connection with them;
  • (f) governing registration in, the fees to be charged for registration in and the operation of private correspondence courses and private tutoring institutions that offer correspondence courses or tutoring in the same or substantially the same subjects as those offered in schools.

In addition, Alberta has sections in their annual Guide to Education related to distance education, blended learning and online delivery that outline some specific requirements primarily related to the amount of required instructional time. It also advises school authorities that wish to undertake online programmes that they will need to consider:

  • how student attendance is to be defined, the role of parents in instruction, assessment and supervision of student work, staffing levels, time frames for student access to the instructional expertise of teachers, student evaluation practices, requirements for programme access by students living outside Alberta, programme decisions; e.g., self-paced or teacher controlled, how to deliver all outcomes of Alberta programme of study, provision for writing achievement tests and diploma examinations, programme and teacher evaluation, [and] how to provide alternative forms of programme delivery for non-resident students who are experiencing difficulty in the online environment. (government of Alberta, 2009, p. 67).

This provides individual programmes with much flexibility in creating their K-12 distance education programmes. It is important to note that the Ministry of Education views online education as one of the potential school choice options, along with the public and Catholic school systems, Francophone, charter and private schools, home education and blended programmes, and alternative education programmes.

Finally, beginning in 2007 the Ministry of Education has undertaken a review of K-12 distance education in the province with the goal of developing a Distributed Learning Strategy. To date there has been a broad consultation process that has included 1,774 responses to an online survey, 60 interviews, 28 focus groups, and 21 site visits (some of which has been archived online by the Distributed Learning forum Online Community). Fournier (2009) indicates that this process will be completed by 2010-11.


Fournier, H. (2009). Alberta’s strategy for distributed learning – A proposal. A presentation to the annual Alberta Distributed Learning Symposium, Calgary, AB. Retrieved October 3, 2009 from

Government of Alberta. (2009). Guide to Education. Edmonton, AB: Author. Retrieved October 3, 2009 from