Centre for Extended Learning (CEL)
East Campus 3 (EC3)
195 Columbia St. W.
The Centre for Extended Learning was proud to celebrate our 50th Anniversary in 2018!
From our humble beginnings as a correspondence program in 1968 we grew to be one of the largest providers of online education at a University in Canada.
Take some time today to:
- read about our history and check our our timeline
- learn about James D. Leslie, our founder, and the amazing recipients of the J.D. Leslie Undergraduate Prize.
- check out all of the courses in our online course catalogue
- review the winners of our Online Teaching and Development Awards
- watch our Demo Reel
- An Idea Forms
JD Leslie pitches the idea of correspondence courses to Howard Petch (Academic VP) in order to help high school teachers upgrade their education.
- Official Start of the Correspondence Program
Physics gives Jim Leslie 00 to buy a tape duplicator, hire one part-time secretary, and provide technical support training.
40 x 40 minute taped lectures, on 5-inch reels: "can be used on a 4-track stereo tape recorder by turning down one channel".
- Senate Agrees
Students are allowed to take two correspondence courses per year towards their degree.
- First Arts and Biology Courses
Economics, English, Psychology, French, Classics, Ecology 1, Genetics and Evolution, and Human Biology.
Lectures are sent out on 2-track C90 cassettes.
- Senior Bursaries
Bursaries available for seniors to take courses for free.
- First General Interest (Professional Development) courses offered
First use of Telidon (interactive television system) in ENGL 251.
- 42-Day National Postal Strike
Staff members telegramed over 4000 correspondence students during the strike. This cost the department a little over 00. Exams were sent via courier, bus, rail express, and airplane.
- Faculty of Arts Scholarships
0 scholarships for part-time and correspondence students became available.
- Learning on a Grand Scale
We send a quarter million cassette tapes to distance students.
- Numbers Game
Athabasca University beats University of Waterloo for "largest correspondence program" in terms of course enrolments, but they only have 100 courses to our 168.
- We Moved!
In January, they cut the (cassette) tape at our new location in Annex 2 (156 Columbia Street).
First video cassettes (VHS or Beta) are used in a Calligraphy course to demonstrate techniques.
First 50 students pick up laptops for CS 100; only students living close to the University were eligible.
New duplication machine! 300-400 tapes a day created per operator; Introduction of floppy disks and Alex (Bell Canada's interactive videotex service).
- Course Expansion
The Correspondence program receives 3,000 from Ontario Ministry of Colleges and Universities.
- 25th Anniversary
Coincides with a soft transition from Correspondence to 'Distance Education'.
Environmental Economics was the first fully web-based course offered.
CD-ROMS also started to replace tapes for audio lectures.
- We Moved Again!
Office moved to Gage Avenue and our name changed to 'Distance and Continuing Education'.
- Launching Abroad
Distance education courses marketed outside of Canada in Hong Kong.
- Honorary Member
Founder JD Leslie was named an honorary member to the University.
Converted remaining physical formats, such as tapes and CDs, to MP3 format.
- Online Enrolment
Quest platform is developed allowing students to enrol in courses online.
First Learning Management System (LMS) called Angel or UW-ACE is purchased to deliver courses and course information to students online.
High speed Internet was not a requirement, so Flash files were also mailed on CD-ROMS.
- Task Force on Online Learning
Laid the foundation for modernization of what CEL is today.
- Certificate Programs
Professional Development launched its first in-class certificate programs: Leadership and Project Management.
- Name Change
Distance Education becomes 'Centre For Extended Learning'.
All courses are moved from UW-ACE to a new LMS Desire2Learn.
- Certificate Programs
Professional Development offers its first online certificate program in Supervision.
- Strategic Plan
Online learning embedded in Waterloo's Strategic Plan.
eCampus Ontario (eCO) is founded, which over the next few years, awards us with over million in development and research grants.
- Back On-Campus
CEL moves from Gage Avenue to EC3 on the North East side of Waterloo's Campus.
- CEL Hosts CAUCE
CEL hosts the Canadian Association for University Continuing Education (CAUCE) Conference.
CEL works towards converting all Flash-based presentations to more device-friendly alternatives.