'Learning pods' installed on University of Windsor campus

The University of Windsor has made some changes to its west-end campus, which students will likely notice the first day they are back this fall.

Students, faculty, staff and visitors welcome to check out new street furniture along Sunset Avenue

A news story on the University of Windsor website indicates that the newly installed learning pods will have power plugs, lighting and Wi-Fi access. (Geoff Nixon/CBC)

The University of Windsor has made some changes to its west-end campus, which students will likely notice the first day they are back this fall.

The school has installed so-called learning pods — or what otherwise might be described as outdoor furniture, some of which is grouped together in classroom-like formations — along Sunset Avenue.

According to a news story on the university website, the pods have been built to include power plugs, Wi-Fi access and lighting. They are the first part of an ongoing project.

The University of Windsor has installed so-called learning pods along Sunset Avenue. (Geoff Nixon/CBC)

During a midday visit to campus this past week, a reporter found the pods to be empty, though a university official says that students on campus this summer are already making use of them.

"It's proving to be a hit," said Douglas Kneale, university provost and vice-president, academic, in a telephone interview on Thursday.

Kneale said the pods are part of an ongoing effort the university is undertaking to transform its campus.

The provost said that students do much of their learning outside of the classroom and in the case of the pods, this may be a literal manifestation of that idea, depending on who is using them.

He said it's expected that students, faculty, staff and campus visitors will all make use of the pods.

The university says there are 10 smaller, bench-style pods that have bike racks on the east side of Sunset Avenue and six larger ones on the west side, which are equipped with tables.

Alex Authier, a second-year biomedical health science student, told CBC News he was surprised to hear about some of the features of the learning pods.

"Having just learned that they are coming with Wi-Fi and stuff like that, it's kind of surprising that the university is going all out with this sort of thing," Authier said, when speaking with a reporter on campus earlier this week.

"But then again, you think about how much money we're paying with tuition, how the tuition went up to pay for this, it doesn't surprise me that the money went towards this sort of thing."

Authier, however, said he believed having the pods on the campus was a good thing for students, as it puts "more resources" at their disposal.

A man is seen working on the University of Windsor campus earlier this week, opposite one of the new learning pods that have been installed along Sunset Avenue. (Geoff Nixon/CBC)


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