• 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 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

Mission Statement

The Canadian Digital Learning Research Association (CDLRA) conducts applied research to advance knowledge about digital learning strategies, policies, and practices in close collaboration with Canadian post-secondary institutions and affiliated organizations.

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 a single, annual National Survey. The CDLRA now conducts multiple research initiatives each year to investigate new and longstanding educational practices as the digital learning landscape continues to evolve.

To learn more about our past publications and current projects, please visit our publications page

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