An Extended Systematic Review of Canadian Policy Documents on e-Learning: What We’re Doing and Not Doing


  • Eugene Borokhovski Concordia University
  • Robert Bernard Concordia University
  • Erin Mills Canadian Council on Learning
  • Philip C Abrami Concordia University
  • C Anne Wade Concordia University
  • Rana Tamim Hamdan Bin Mohammad e-University
  • Edward Bethel Concordia University
  • Gretchen Lowerison Coreidea Innovation Inc.
  • David Pickup Concordia University
  • Michael A Surkes Concordia University



This systematic review builds upon the work of Authors (2006) and McGreal and Anderson (2007). It seeks to provide a synthesis and discussion of publicly available government policy documents with regard to e-learning in Canada. There is general consensus, both in public opinion and in the research literature, that the educational practices associated with rapidly advancing computer information technologies are gaining popularity and are expected to be increasingly effective in enhancing learning. The purpose of this review is to uncover and describe areas of commonality and inconsistency in e-learning policy documents dated from 2000 to 2010, and to determine where discussions about e-learning are lacking. In total, 138 policy documents from Canadian provinces and territories and several federal agencies were retrieved and analyzed using prescriptive and emergent coding approaches. The review confirmed that Canadian policy makers view technology as offering potential benefits to learners, but also revealed a troubling lack of specific details, consistency and coordination in facilitating the development of e-learning to fulfill these optimistic expectations.