The Digital Divide Project

October 2021 Update

You are invited to participate in the 2nd survey from Calgary Learns’ Digital Divide Project. 
The Digital Divide Project has two parts:

      1. to research and understand the barriers that learners face in accessing online, remote, and blended learning options across the CALP system, and to advocate for additional supports to CALPs to reduce those barriers 
      2. to share a resource full of information and strategies, collected from CALP practitioners, to support the successful delivery of online, remote and blended learning programming

Digital Divide Project – Survey #2 – October 2021 – Watch Video

VIEW or print the survey questions

FILL OUT the survey (starting October 1)


Building on our previous learning in the Pivot to Remote Learning Community of Practice, we are reaching out to adult foundational learning practitioners across the province in the Digital Divide Project. Our first online survey this summer focused on understanding the learning barriers that adult Albertans have faced as a result of the shift to remote, blended and online learning.

Responses to our first survey confirm that there are many barriers – a lack of digital infrastructure and internet (especially in rural areas), financial barriers, and a lack of digital skills, just to name a few. Survey responses also made it clear that practitioners and programs are adjusting to meet the changing demands of our new reality.

Now in this second survey, we ask you to share your observations and insights into the changing needs of learners, as well as what has worked for you in online, remote, and blended learning. 

And in an effort to focus on learners’ voices and perspectives, we have included a few questions for you to discuss with your learners. You may wish to integrate these questions into your processes this fall, such as during registration or onboarding of learners to your programs. Your learners who have overcome the barriers to access remote learning, and those who have not overcome those barriers, all have a particular perspective and story to tell that is incredibly important for our province to hear.

So we invite you to have those conversations with learners, collect that information, and share what you can through our online survey. It will be open during the month of October, starting on October 1st. We invite you to participate in this survey regardless of whether you did our first survey or not. 

The Digital Divide Project has the potential to impact policy and practice across Alberta. But to have a strong impact, we need to hear from you. Let’s work together to share the practices and supports that can make online, remote, and blended learning more accessible in the adult foundational learning field. 

Many thanks for your time and collaboration in strengthening our CALP community.

Monica Leong, Project Manager, Digital Divide Project

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September 2021 Update

The Digital Divide Project at Calgary Learns’ is underway! Building on our previous learning in the Pivot to Remote Learning Community of Practice, we have reached out to adult foundational learning practitioners across the province. Our first online survey this summer focused on understanding the learning barriers that adult Albertans have faced as a result of the shift to remote, blended and online learning.Survey numbers:
  • 51 respondents, including instructors/facilitators, tutors, coordinators, administrative roles, and executive directors.
  • Every CALP Region in the province was represented, with the largest group (28%) from Northern Alberta.
  • Rural/Urban response rate:
    • 61% rural/small towns
    • 27% from large urban centres
    • 12% from small urban centres/cities.
Overwhelmingly, the biggest barriers for learners involve:
  1. the availability of affordable, reliable, broadband internet services
  2. reliable access to a device that can be used for learning
  3. the digital skills and confidence needed to engage in online or remote learning.

But respondents identified many other barriers as well, including things like financial instability, job losses, childcare and homeschooling responsibilities, and other pandemic-related stresses, as well as some cultural/religious beliefs around the use of technology.

The survey shows common experiences across many respondents, but there are important differences too. For example, around 90% of respondents said they experienced a change in the number of learners when services shifted away from face-to-face learning. But while most experienced a drop (or even a drastic drop) in the number of learners in their programs, others experienced an increase in learners. And still others had an initial decrease and then a subsequent increase over time back to pre-pandemic numbers.

Many programs (70% of respondents) also saw a change in the profile of their learners, but the changes in the profiles varied. For example, some saw a shift toward a more diverse population, others saw fewer low income learners and an increase in learners who were newly unemployed. Still others described more high-skilled learners participating while those who needed more support either did not join or had more sporadic participation.

We look forward to uncovering more of the experiences, suggestions, and wisdom that CALP practitioners have to offer. Thank you to all those who took the time to respond to the survey. You have provided us with a snapshot of experiences from across the province. Your thoughtful reflections will inform our next steps in the Digital Divide Project. Look for our next survey this fall.

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Summer 2021 Announcement

The Digital Divide Project is underway! A great big THANKS to all the practitioners out there who have already taken our first survey and shared their thoughtful insights and perspectives.

So far, survey responses are revealing interesting changes in practice and other observations about how learners have been accessing remote, blended and online learning. It is this wisdom, gleaned from CALP practitioners across the province, that our Digital Divide project will be collecting and sharing in order to advocate for, and better support, our adult foundational learners.

Did you get a chance to take our survey? If not, CLICK HERE *Survey is now closed.
We still want to hear from you. We are reopening the survey for one more week to catch anyone who missed it in June.

And as a bonus, after you submit your responses, you will see a link to another form where you can enter your email address for a chance to win one of several $40 gift cards to Chapters!

Please complete the survey before Friday, July 23. Then watch Calgary Learns’ newsletter and the CALP portal for preliminary survey results and draw prize winners.

Survey link:*Survey is now closed.

Thank you again for sharing and helping our CALP community, and have a wonderful summer.
Monica Leong
Program Manager, Calgary Learns’ Digital Divide Project

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