Course Delivery Platforms

CEL development and delivery of fully online courses uses three main platforms: LEARN, Contensis and Möbius. Most of the time we use a combination of two of these platforms when delivering an online course.


Waterloo LEARN (D2L Brightspace) is the cornerstone of the Waterloo online learning environment. This web-based learning management system (LMS) enables instructors to manage course materials, activities, and assessments and interact easily and efficiently with their students outside of the physical classroom. It is used at Waterloo as a component of on-campus courses and as a platform for fully online learning. All fully online courses developed by CEL have a LEARN component. In some cases, LEARN provides us with all the functionality we need when designing an online course.

Visit the Waterloo LEARN help site for more information. 

LEARN + Contensis

Contensis is an online content management system (CMS) designed to enable the rapid creation of professional looking, interactive course content. Sophisticated web pages can be created and edited without the need to code HTML, resulting in content that can be more easily revised by course authors and instructors. Contensis does not replace LEARN, but rather sits alongside LEARN, housing the course content. Each online course continues to have a LEARN shell which contains all course-related tools such as discussion boards, quizzes, and gradebook. Students navigate between LEARN and Contensis to complete the course.

Visit the Contensis help site for more information.

LEARN + Möbius

Möbius is an online authoring and deployment tool designed specifically for the needs of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). It includes both a sophisticated authoring tool and an online courseware environment that promotes active student learning. Möbius does not replace LEARN but rather sits alongside LEARN, housing course content, activities, and assessments. Each online course continues to have a LEARN shell which contains course-related tools. Students navigate between LEARN and Mobius to complete the course.

Visit the Möbius help site for more information.

Other Third-Party Tools

To augment the three main delivery platforms listed above, CEL leverages other third-party web-based tools to further enhance the learning experience. These tools - which IST and the Privacy Office perform rigorous privacy and security checks on to ensure they are right for Waterloo learners - are included in the Educational Technology Hub list of centrally supported tools.