Category Case Studies

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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Meet Our Ambassador: Kirstin Zeiser

Kirstin Zeiser is a student from the University of Alabama, major in Public Relations with a strong interest in the Spanish language and Spanish culture. Kirstin became a Curiosity Ambassador because she personally connected with Packback’s purpose: to be a life-long learner. Her view on education can be summarized with a quote from Casey Neistat, a popular filmmaker. He says “Experience does for the soul what education does for the mind.”

“My education here at The University of Alabama has been unparalleled, but it isn’t just the education that will set me up for success in my field. My experiences outside of the classroom have been just as valuable, if not even more.”

Kirstin’s sense of self is remarkably developed, and she already has a clear idea of where her degree is going to propel her. This, combined with Kirstin’s understanding of the value of a broad education, demonstrates that she has an open and accepting worldview.

Understanding her strong emphasis on education, we asked Kirstin what she thought about Packback; a brand new way to carry out discussion in her class.

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Packback Case Study: Jodi Hallsten-Lyczak

Jodi Hallsten-Lyczak has been an instructor at Illinois State University for the last five years in the communication department. In 2007, Jodi was named the Outstanding University Teacher, which is the highest recognition offered by Illinois State University for outstanding teaching. That year, she was also awarded the highest teaching award designated by the College of Arts and Sciences.

Jodi utilized Packback Answers in both of her courses this semester; Communication Theory and Introduction to Mass Communication. Both of these courses had approximately 150 students per class, and catered to the Freshman/Sophomore communication or general education student. Her goal in using Packback was to finally use a discussion board that cultivated quality discussion rather than just being busy work, and the discussion that resulted on Packback far exceeded her expectations.

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Packback Case Study: Professor Srikripa Chandrasekaran

Srikripa Chandrasekaran is a professor of science at Clemson University. No stranger to the perils of student engagement in and out of the classroom, she decided to utilize Packback Answers this semester in an attempt to keep her students more engaged and actively thinking about the course material taught in class. We had a chance to ask Srikripa a few questions about her experience, which is turning out to be quite positive!

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Packback Case Study: Professor Alice Jackson

Dr. Alice Jackson teaches Art History at University of Alabama at Birmingham, usually at the 101 level. Many of Professor Jackson’s students are not art majors, but she still wants to inspire an appreciation of art and art history in each of her students before they leave her class. She makes the subject accessible to non-art majors, and gives them the context they need to truly care about what they are learning in class. She implemented Packback to give her students a safe space to continue discussing the artworks and concepts they were studying in class, and the depth of discussion that resulted was incredible!

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Packback Case Study: Stockton Maxwell

Dr. Stockton Maxwell teaches geography at Radford University in Virginia, often for lecture halls up to 90 students. “My main goal in teaching is to help students to think spatially. Economies, politics, cultures, and environments are not randomly located in the world. They have a place for a reason!” Professor Maxwell used Packback this semester in class and was blown away by the results.

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