Online Learning Policy – Active Participation (Interim)

Date came into force or revised

July 1, 2021

Status

Interim for the school year 2021/2022.

Policy statement

Boards of education and independent school authorities will report to the Ministry when students become active participants in online learning. The Ministry will only fund boards of education and independent school authorities for online learning when specific criteria related to active participation are met.

Rationale or purpose of policy

Changes to the School Act and to the Independent School Act regarding online learning came into effect on July 1, 2021. The 2021/2022 school year will be an interim year in the implementation of changes to online learning in the Province.  A new, comprehensive online learning policy and a procedures guide are under development with Indigenous rightsholders and stakeholders and will be fully implemented on July 1, 2022.  For the 2021/2022 school year, the former distributed learning policies have been replaced by interim online learning policies that will be in effect until the new online learning policies are implemented on July 1, 2022.

Active participation in online learning is equivalent to attendance in a school as defined in the School Act.  This policy sets out the evidence for active participation that is required for boards of education or independent school authorities to receive funding for students who are enrolled in online learning programs or courses.  

Authority

These can all be found in the Manual of School Law

Policy in full

In this policy, the terms board of education or Board include a francophone education authority. The term Authority refers to an independent school authority. 

Online learning programs and courses must be led by B.C. certified teachers or Letter of Permission holders.

Active participation in online learning is equivalent to attendance in a standard school. The Ministry will only fund Boards and Authorities for students taking online learning if there is evidence that specific criteria related are met.  To receive funding, Boards and Authorities report to the Ministry when students become active participants.  The “active date” for a student in an online learning course or program is the earliest date, supportable with evidence, which satisfies the criteria set out below. Students who meet the criteria below will be considered actively participating in online learning for funding purposes. 

Criteria For full-time Grades K-9 who are not cross enrolled

Online learning management systems or school files for full-time Grade K - 9 students must contain dated evidence that a student is actively participating on or before the dates listed in the Form 1701 Instructions.  The minimum evidence is a student learning plan developed by a BC certified teacher or Letter of Permission holder, and a documented commitment from a parent. Additionally, there must be evidence that the student is actively participating three weeks following that date.

Criteria for cross-enrolled Grades 8 & 9 and all Grades 10-12

To cross enrol a student in online learning, a Board or Authority must have in place an interim online learning agreement with the Minister that allows for cross enrolment.  See the Online Learning Policy—General (Interim)  and Form 1701 instructions for more information.

On or before the date listed in the Form 1701 instructions, school files for cross-enrolled grades 8 and 9 students and all students in grades 10 -12 (including all adult students who have not graduated) must contain the following with respect to online learning courses in order to show sufficient evidence of active participation to qualify for funding:

  • A clear course plan must be on file for each course. This course plan must link to the course's curriculum learning standards and/or outcomes, required resources and assessment strategies. This course plan is the evidence supporting the requirement that assigned work is meeting the curriculum learning standards and/or outcomes.
  • A current course selection or enrolment form must list the online learning courses reported for funding that meet provincial BC graduation requirements.
  • Substantive student course activity or activities must be submitted by the student to the teacher:
    1. The activity or activities must represent a minimum of five percent of the course’s learning activities.
    2. The activity or activities must be clearly linked to the curriculum learning standards and/or outcomes of the course.
    3. The activity or activities must have been evaluated by the teacher, entered in the teacher’s records, digital or paper-based, and dated on or before the date the student became active.
    4. For each course, the school must keep in the online learning management system or on file a copy of the learning plan and the assignment(s) or work that represents the substantive activity or activities.
    5. Student work does not have to be retained as evidence if the teacher or the school can demonstrate criteria 1, 2, 3, and 4 have been met through an online learning management system, digital tracking processes or paper-based documentation.

Procedures related to policy

To receive funding for students in online learning courses or programs, Boards and Authorities must ensure the following procedures are followed, to demonstrate that the students are actively participating. 

1. BC certified teachers or Letter of Permission holders lead online learning programs, verifiable by learning management system, digital or paper-based evidence such as course or student timetables, course selection forms, registration reports, or information gathered from records and through interviews with teachers and other staff.

For full-time Grades K-9 students enrolled in online learning who are not cross-enrolled

  • Learning management system, digital or paper-based evidence onsite of a student learning plan on record, signed and dated by the BC certified teacher or Letter of Permission holder and parent (and by the student, if old enough to understand the plan), referring to these elements:
    • The curriculum learning standards and/or outcomes for the program or course(s) or both
    • Required areas of study for the program or course(s) or both
    • The BC certified teacher or Letter of Permission holder’s plan for providing learning activities
    • Learning resources being used to complete the program or course(s) or both
    • Assessment strategies and standards of performance expected of the student.

For cross-enrolled grades 8 and 9 students and all students in grades 10 - 12 (including all adult students who have not graduated) 

  • Learning management system, digital or paper-based evidence of the course plan (course outline, or syllabus) must be readily available on site. The course plan must include:
    • A reference to the curriculum learning standards and/or outcomes of the Ministry or Board/Authority-Authorized (BAA) course 
    • A list of the topics covered
    • Learning resources being used to complete the program or course(s) or both
    • Assessment strategies and standards of performance expected of the student.
  • Learning management system, digital or paper-based evidence of a current course selection or enrolment form, dated and signed by the student or parent or both. These forms must list each eligible course that is reported for funding. For adults who have not yet graduated, the courses must lead to graduation. The forms must be on site, or documentation must be readily available to verify that the school of record maintains the course selection or enrolment form. (For information about adults who have graduated, see the Adult Graduation Program Policy.)

2. Student work is submitted to teachers and links directly to curriculum learning standards and/or outcomes in the student’s program.

For full-time Grades K-9 students enrolled in online learning who are not cross-enrolled

  • Verification of the student’s active participation in the educational program must be in evidence three weeks after the dates listed in the 1701 enrolment instructions. For example, active participation for a Grade 3 student must be in evidence by October 21 for September 30th data collection.
  • Learning management system, digital or paper-based evidence includes dated examples of student work, assessment data, and teacher gradebook or other tracking system entries. These entries reflect student engagement in a significant portion of the program.

For cross-enrolled grades 8 and 9 students, all students in grades 10 - 12, and all adults 

  • For each eligible course reported for funding, substantive student course activity is submitted to the teacher.  This course activity directly links to the curriculum learning standards and/or outcomes required in each course.
  • Learning management system, digital, or paper-based evidence includes one or more activities demonstrating that a minimum of five per cent of each course’s learning activities have been covered
  • The following learning management system, digital or paper-based evidence must be readily available:
    • The gradebook or other tracking system must contain a dated record of the teacher’s evaluation of the student’s performance on the course activity or activities. (Where gradebooks or tracking systems do not support dated entries, then alternative dated information is required, such as logs, copies of students’ substantive course activity, or copies of teachers’ dated observation, feedback and marking details.)
    • The course or program instructions and materials associated with assignments or course work for these activities or assignments must be accessible. (These materials must include a sample of substantive student course activity for the course reported for funding and a copy of the teacher’s observations, feedback and marking details for the activity or activities.)