Brand Ambassador Beverly Paz shares about her experience with Packback Questions
If you’re anything like me, you’ve begun a class brimming with enthusiasm, only to find it dwindling a few weeks into class. Assignments I may have previously found fascinating become mundane tasks on my infinitely long to-do list. Many students believe this gradual loss of interest is an inevitable fate. However, this could not be further from the truth, thanks to Packback. When professors decide to include this user-friendly website in their courses, student curiosity can be rejuvenated.
Because it was founded by students for students, Packback offers students unique advantages that other academic platforms fail to provide.
Though the founders are no longer college students, they still understand the student perspective and run the company accordingly. For instance, today college students face the skyrocketing price of textbooks, both in tangible and electronic forms. My first semester in college, all of my books cost me nearly $700. I paid nearly $200 for a single access code. Yes, you read that correctly. That code cost me the amount that would take nearly thirty hours working a minimum wage job to earn. Instead of exploiting a cornered market of broke young adults like other companies choose to do, Packback offers students discount e-textbook rentals and a price comparison tool to help students find the cheapest textbooks.
For Packback to prioritize minimizing educational costs rather than creating unnecessary financial obstacles reflects its mission: to make every student a lifelong learner.
Additionally, Packback Questions saves money by requiring an inexpensive, one-time semester fee per user. In contrast, many other academic websites charge a monthly subscription, which seriously can add up over time.
In addition to lowering costs, Packback also encourages students to think outside of the box. Not surprisingly, more and more teachers are signing their classes up for Packback Questions- and for good reason!
Firstly, access to the group discussion is restricted to those enrolled in the course and Packback employees, thereby keeping the conversation private. Secondly, posts are monitored to ensure they’re on topic, appropriate and reflect critical thinking. This deliberate structure is engineered to serve a specific purpose– to strengthen students’ curiosity. Packback Questions prompts students to both ask thoughtful questions and deliver thorough, informative answers with cited sources. What may begin as an attempt to earn participation points can easily transform into an engaging learning experience.
Personally, I began using Packback Questions only to earn participation points. After some time, however, it became impossible for me to participate in the conversation without becoming engrossed in the subject. Once I recognized how course content relates to real life, I felt motivated to seek out even more knowledge.
For instance, when my class was learning about photon emission from excited atoms, my classmate posted a question about how LED lights work if they don’t contain gas. The question puzzled me, so I searched for the answer. That, dear reader, is the day I learned about p-n junction diodes. Make no mistake, I was not alone in my growing curiosity. In fact, as the semester progressed I could sense a difference in the type of questions my peers were asking. They focused less on what we learned in Modern Physics that day and more on physics in general. Come the end of the semester, topics included nuclear physics, cosmology, astronomy, quantum physics, string theory, general relativity, electricity, magnetism, time travel and philosophy.
Furthermore, the ranking system, currently determined by the number of questions and answers posted, fostered fierce competition amongst my classmates and I. Every night I would log into Packback Questions to maintain my lead as the number one student. Every night I was met by my classmates doing their best to prevent this from happening. Over time, Packback Questions ceased to be just a task to complete and grew to be a fun way to expand my knowledge and simultaneously earn class participation points.
Learning doesn’t have to be a chore and buying textbooks doesn’t have to break the bank. By making class materials affordable and encouraging critical thinking, Packback has begun an educational revolution.
If, as William Arthur Ward once wrote, “Curiosity is wick in the candle of learning,” Packback is certainly the lighter, igniting a passion for learning one student at a time.
Written by Beverly Paz