Vol. 21 No. 3 (2007)
Research Articles

CADE: Looking Forward By Glancing Back

Judy Roberts
Michel Umbriaco

Published 2007-01-04

How to Cite

Roberts, J., & Umbriaco, M. (2007). CADE: Looking Forward By Glancing Back. International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education Revue Internationale Du E-Learning Et La Formation à Distance, 21(3), 167–213. Retrieved from https://www.ijede.ca/index.php/jde/article/view/33


On April 1, 1983, thirteen “enthusiastic, daring, creative and re s o u rc e f u l ” (Landstrom, 1993, p. 113) Canadian distance educators who were attending an international conference on telecourses gathered in a hotel room in Washington DC to socialize. They left that evening with a dream: a Canadian distance education association. Now, after the memberships of both CADE and the Association for Media and Technology in Education in Canada (AMTEC) have voted to create a new national bilingual organization based on a reformulated vision, CADE is once again moving forward into a new and exciting future. And so, it seems timely to reflect upon where we have been as we envision where we might go. In February 2006, the Board of Directors commissioned a paper celebrating and documenting CADE’s past using a combination of interview and document research techniques. The paper describes CADE’s evolution in five sections: (1) mandate and services, (2) organization and finances, (3) Francophone perspectives, (4) CADE internationally, and (5) The future. In one sense, CADE has succeeded beyond the wildest dreams of that visionary band who met in a hotel room in Washington DC in 1983. Blended learning is now seen as conventional, accepted practice by many stakeholders. In another sense, blended and flexible learning are perceived as becoming so dominant that the need for, and values of, distance educators are being lost. We join many quoted in this paper in cautioning that adopting DE practice in an a historical context can mean failure not success, especially if values and practice are not aligned.