The University’s involvement with the Canadian Centre for Learning Systems (CCLS) fulfilled a recognized need to explore education’s role in the area of computer assisted learning, a timely partnership with other educational institutions and industry, and an initiative that responded to the Provincial Government’s White Paper of 1984 on an Industrial and Science Strategy for Albertans, 1985-1990. The White Paper emphasized diversification of the economy; the University’s involvement in CCLS would provide a venue for training and support to further the Province’s goals.
CCLS was a partnership between the University of Calgary, the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, Mount Royal College, the Calgary Board of Education, the Calgary Separate School Board, and technology and industry organizations Honeywell, Control Data Canada (CDC) and Reid Chartwell. All partners believed strongly in the value of having one centre where the development, evaluation, training, education, research and use of computer assisted systems could be fully explored. The University was well positioned to take part in the CCLS having created the Institute for Computer Assisted Learning in 1984 as well as just purchasing a SuperComputer (Cyber 205) from CDC that was operating as the fastest arithmetic machine in Canada.
The CCLS was based in Parkdale Elementary and Junior High School; the Executive Director was Dr. Barbara Samuels, a senior administrator at the University. The Centre officially opened April 30, 1985 with some of the first simulation software for career training in the oil and gas industry being tested in October. The CCLS ran for 4 years before closing in 1989.