Posts tagged Bloom’s Taxonomy

Packback Takes on $1.5M in New Funding Including Strategic Investments from University Ventures and ICG Ventures

Packback adds $1.5 million of new capital with participation from industry strategic investors as the Chicago-based education technology company doubles its user-base since the last semester and anticipates over 70,000 new students at 50+ universities using the service throughout the academic year.

The investments from University Ventures, the premier investor in education technology focused on higher education, as well as ICG Ventures LLC, the corporate venture capital arm of Ingram Content Group, will help Packback continue to scale nationally not only through capital, but strategic expertise as well. Packback intends to raise additional funding through an upcoming Series A investment.

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What Makes a Question Better?

To ensure students are more than a GPA, to be confident that they’ll leave the classroom with more sophisticated thinking and knowledge, we talk about asking better questions. But here’s a question… what actually makes a question better?

Similar to other classroom discussion platforms, Packback encourages student engagement and interactivity to encourage further learning and giving students more of a voice outside of their large lecture hall. But what Packback also offers is its ability to guide students to higher levels of thinking through asking better questions and providing better answers.

So how does Packback manage to do this? The Packback Curiosity Score.
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Psychology Is Better With Questions

In many student’s eyes, psychology is one of the most engaging and interesting subjects in college.

That’s for three reasons:

  1. We all have personal stories to share. Psychology brings these stories out in full color and emotions.
  2. Psychology helps us understand ourselves better, by gaining new perspectives on our own experiences.
  3. It’s fascinating to discuss the study of our mind and behavior with others. Relating to others about thought processes is often a rewarding experience.

Lectures are great for getting students introduced to new ideas, but the next step is to let students engage with the content by letting them ask questions. When students feel that they have a safe space to ask questions, they naturally seek to connect the dots and find where psychology is relevant in their lives. That’s why developing students’ ability to ask great questions makes for effective student engagement.

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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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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!