Category Case Studies

How Packback Questions Measures up to Other Discussion Platforms

Brand Ambassador Jenna Baker shares about her experience with Packback Questions.

An essential feature of the Packback Questions platform is its interactive nature.

One main purpose of having students write discussion posts or ask questions is so  they can grow and learn from one another in addition to classroom learning. Although this may be the common use of a discussion platform, many standard formats and website layouts do not actually provide a learning environment that is as conducive to that growth.
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The Ability for Students to Engage and Interact 24/7

Brand Ambassador Beverly Paz shares about her experience with Packback Questions.

When attending larger schools, such as the University of Alabama, it is nearly impossible to avoid larger classes. Within two years, I have been in several lecture-based classes with a couple hundred classmates. The issue  is that when the class is too big, the professor can become overwhelmed and there is no class time for interacting in small groups. How can students maximize their courses when no class time is set aside for practicing concepts, asking questions, critical thinking or interacting with other students?

While not completely ridding the educational system of non-engaging lectures, Packback does offer multiple features that begin to remedy the situation.

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Packback Learners are Life Learners

Brand Ambassador Jenna Baker shares about her experience with Packback Questions.

One of the major life skills I have acquired from using Packback is a strong sense of cooperation. I appreciate the very specific requirement that was made that students ask at least one question, but respond to/answer two questions. I came to the realization that this specific requirement had an influence on me throughout the semester. While in some chapters, I felt I had so many questions I could use help thinking out, there were other chapters in which I felt I had none. In those situations, Packback is what made me think further and find something of an even higher order to speculate about. Similarly, having to answer two questions required that I constantly engage with my peers and help others formulate solutions to proposed questions and ideas, whether broad or specific.

In many ways, Packback learners are life learners. In life, whether regarding work or a social matter, we may encounter situations in which we are unsure, or could use input from others.

Packback teaches the right way to communicate with our peers no matter what topic we are inquiring about.
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Meet Our Ambassador: Robert Ridge

Robert Ridge is an ambitious student from University of Tennessee. His goal is to work in finance after earning a Masters’ degree in Accounting along with becoming a CPA. He’s also extremely interested in technology and physics. In his spare time, he loves working with electrical wiring and programming using devices such as the Arduino Uno.

With a wide range of interest, Robert has grown to be a curious individual and he has been truly enjoyed participating in his Packback community. When hearing that his class would be using Packback this semester, he was skeptical because he knew it would be hard to curate and screen content while still allowing for open and constructive discussion. However, he has been more than impressed with the quality of the moderators.

The content has remained informative and constructive. Packback seems to be a service I can really get behind and support for other classes. It has brought a better sense of community to what is otherwise a very large lecture.

Robert became a Curiosity Ambassador in Fall 2016 and he aims to introduce Packback to more professors at the University of Tennessee.

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Igniting a Curiosity Fire with an Educational Revolution

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.

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Meet Our Ambassador: Tina Pliagas

Tina is a Marketing major student at University of Tennessee at Knoxville. Her career plan involves coupling her major with something that has largely defined her education and personal life: music education and performance. 

Tina is a proud piccolo player with the University of Tennessee Pride of the Southland Marching Band. Music education has taught her everything from discipline to seeking excellence in everything she does. Marrying the major and passion isn’t always easy, but Tina is determined to follow her dream and the critical thinking skills she learned from Packback has been helping her with it.

In the month and a half that I’ve been introduced to Packback Questions, I feel that I have gotten more out of my class than I ever could with a traditional lecture-and-homework style course.

Packback encourages Tina to continue questioning how the world works because education doesn’t have to be black or white. Every week, her questions and answers become more and more in-depth. Knowing the difference that Packback made for her, Tina believes that other students and professors deserve to know that Packback is a platform that would revolutionize the way they learn and teach. She considers herself as a living proof that this platform can give academics a 180 degree makeover and she seeks to share her story.

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The Sky is the Limit with Packback Questions

Brand Ambassador Jenna Baker shares about her experience with Packback Questions.

Last semester, I took BIOS 350 (Microbiology), and my professor used Packback Questions to let our class explore our curiosity and collaborate with each other through structured, student-led online discussion. It also allows my professor to evaluate us on our curiosity and our interest with the subject matter outside of class.

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Meet Our Ambassador: Jeremy Cummings

Jeremy is a freshman at the University of Alabama majoring in Physics and Mathematics. His dream is to work with the physics of nuclear fusion development because he has always been fascinated by the promise of limitless clean energy and a single fusion reactor could power a country. In order to make headway in this field, he knows that he needs to work towards an understanding of and curiosity about the natural world. He finds value in Packback and became one of our Curiosity Ambassadors in 2016.

When I started on Packback, I was skeptical. The open question concept sounded great for a philosophy class, but as a physics major, it didn’t seem useful. In just a few weeks of class, I have been proven totally wrong. The questions might be inspired by class, but they extend to topics so much broader and, admittedly, more interesting.

Packback has allowed Jeremy to explore his interests beyond the classroom and he seeks to share his experience with others.

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Meet Our Ambassador: Jenna Baker

Jenna is a Pre-Pharmacy senior at University of Illinois at Chicago. Her goal is to serve as an accessible healthcare provider that can make patients feel cared for to the best of her ability. She said if she could change anything in the world, it would be to break down the barriers and have different groups of people interact with peace and love. If every person in the world could make their interactions with one another reflect positive feeling, we could better work together to solve any other problems we currently face.

I live by the saying of Maya Angelou that reads: ‘I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.’ It is my passion to make people feel their very best, looked out for and taken care of with utmost love.

With the career objective in mind, she believes that higher level learning is essential in order to successfully be carried on to graduate school. She thinks that Packback has opened an influential learning community that encourages critical thinking skills. From her own experience, it breaks the stigma of conventional discussion boards and provides for true interactive learning and communication between students.

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Meet Our Ambassador: Mason Estevez

Mason Estevez is a junior at the University of Alabama majoring in Economics and Journalism. His family background in small business made him realize that no matter what field he decides to pursue, he wants to work in a close-knit team and make a tangible impact. In his free time, Mason enjoys cooking because it’s when his deepest thinking happens.

My deepest thinking always happens when I’m cooking. I don’t know if it’s because a spatula feels like a microphone in my hand, but I always end up making a speech to an imaginary audience to defend whatever opinions I have about current events. Sometimes I lose those imaginary arguments. The upside is that there’s always food at the end.

Since he first joined Packback, Mason has consistently portrayed his critical and curious mind through his questions and responses. The combination of the two majors helps him develop an analytical mindset and the ability to communicate clearly, concisely and accurately and Packback is the perfect outlet for him to practice his skills.

That’s why Mason became a Curiosity Ambassador to be a part of bringing in a new and useful learning method to University of Alabama and he wants to share his view on Packback.

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