Category For Educators

Teaching Critical Thinking through Electronic Discussion Platforms

Electronic discussion can stimulate and develop critical thinking skills in students, and we’re not the only ones who believe it.

A scholarly article by Steven Greenlaw and Stephen DeLoach called Teaching Critical Thinking with Electronic Discussion spoke on the subject more than ten years ago, and as technology has continued to advance, electronic discussion is finding an even bigger space in student thinking and curiosity.
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Higher Level Learning Doesn’t End in the Classroom

Packback encourages student curiosity in the classroom, but the higher level learning doesn’t end there. As students approach graduation and enter the career world, Packback wants to take that curiosity displayed in the classroom and put it to use post-graduation by working closely with hiring companies and recruiters.

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“Siri, how do I ask a better question?” The Importance of Curiosity in Today’s World.

We live in a time where we need to ask better questions. Our world is fast-paced and ever-changing. Yesterday’s answers don’t work to answer today’s questions. The idea that memorization is equivalent to real learning is making knowledge outdated and irrelevant quicker than ever before.

Curiosity is imperative for student success–in school and after graduation–today more than ever.

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Curiosity in the Classroom – Utilizing Bloom’s Taxonomy

Class, memorize, exam, repeat.

Valuable education is about more than memorizing facts and data and passing exams. Students’ thinking is far greater than a GPA. Packback believes that curiosity has a place in every classroom.

One framework that encourages curiosity during the cognitive process is Bloom’s Taxonomy. Packback Questions is a student engagement platform that utilizes this framework to ensure higher levels of thinking that students may not otherwise have the time or confidence to explore within the classroom. Already sold and want to learn more about Packback Questions? Click here. Continue reading to learn more about encouraging high level thinking.

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Refreshingly Different – Packback Questions Encourages Long-term Learning

The way in which I learn about specific concepts previously versus how I currently learn with Packback is refreshingly different. As a frequent Packback Questions user in my BIOS 350 Microbiology course, I have first-hand experience regarding the long-term learning that the system encourages through the structure it provides. I find myself actively learning, as opposed to passively acquiring information, when I answer or ask a question on Packback.

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Who Wants to Cut a Great Conversation Short? Bridging the Education Quality Gap

Packback is the light at the end of the tunnel for awkward silences after a professor asks a question. It’s a catalyst for students to feel comfortable in the class right from the start of the school year, and it’s the driving force behind increasing participation all year.

If every professor on every college campus utilized Packback in their course, they would see how much students care about being active learners.

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The critical importance of curiosity in education

Written by Billy Walsh and Ngan Hoang

As children, we are often told that we ask too many questions.

We are also told that school is where we will find the answers to all of these questions. As we get older, that notion is reinforced and we are told that attending college is a place for me to learn about anything and everything, and that maybe one day, we could make a difference and change the world as we know it.

After 4 expensive years of attending college and a double major under my belt, I’ve come to realize that I wasn’t actually learning and applying the subject matter I was paying for. I was simply memorizing facts and regurgitating the information back to the professors as the class format required. There is very little room for curiosity in general, let alone the ‘what if…’ or ‘how would we…’ questions with the way our education system is currently structured.

This is where the Packback Answers vision is realized. Structuring our methodology around Bloom’s Taxonomy of Cognition, students on Packback Answers are encouraged and pushed to apply, analyze, evaluate, and create by asking open-ended questions and awakening that curiosity that exists within themselves.

 

Welcome to Packback Questions from Packback on Vimeo.

This strategy toward education is nothing new, but completely necessary to further understand and expand upon what these students are learning in class. One student at Portland State University had this to say after spending a semester using the platform:

Packback pushed my curiosity. It made me think about organic chemistry applications that I do not always think about. I definitely want to learn more about this topic to understand more complex topics in the future.

The results we’ve seen are simply amazing. Students are going above and beyond their structured curriculum, asking questions and sharing a wealth of knowledge, experience and opinions that otherwise may not have surfaced in class. A wealth that they might not have even known they were capable of – asking questions such as “Is it possible for someone with disabilities to truly be in love?” or “As the Internet collects data, it gets ‘heavier.’ Does the same thing happen to our brains as we learn?” The sort of questions that engage fellow classmates and get both students and professors thinking in ways they might not have otherwise.

At the end of the term, we asked students ‘How do you feel Packback Answers has impacted your desire to continue studying this topic?’ and the responses were abundantly positive:

Packback has made the topic certainly more approachable. I didn’t see my class as a dry academic topic that has no real relevance to my field of work anymore. I can see how this subject can still be indirectly applied to my career instead of thinking “Why am I taking this when it won’t help me?”

At Packback, we believe that all students have the potential to become tenaciously curious lifelong learners…and this is just the tip of the iceberg!