Posts tagged EdTech

Improving Critical Thinking Through Online Discussion

A Graduate Professor at Grand Valley State University uses Packback to prepare students for their careers.

In the Department of Occupational Science & Therapy at Grand Valley State University, students walked into the first day of class excited to learn. It’s the start of their 3-year journey of classroom instruction and clinicals to prepare for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy exam. But their instructor, Dr. Jennifer Summers, walked into the classroom with a bigger goal – to teach the importance of critical thinking and this semester she used Packback to help.

“When I see my students in front of me, I think of their future clients,” says Dr. Summers. “These are graduate students who are going to enter our profession. We train them to think in a way that is all-encompassing so they’re able to see the bigger picture. We give them knowledge, but critical thinking with transformable learning is our main objective.”

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How-To Ask Quality Questions on Packback

Asking questions is an important skill that can be improved with practice and by understanding what makes a quality question. Start by reading our Community Guidelines, which explains how open-ended questions facilitate thought-provoking discussions. Next, get familiar with our Curiosity Score to understand how Packback scores questions based on presentation, credibility and effort. After a read-through of the basics, check out our breakdown of a 94-point question to learn the key components of a great question and how to earn a high Curiosity Score!

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Tips on Identifying a Credible Source

Students post thousands of questions with sources every week on Packback. Not only do the sources strengthen arguments, but they also serve as a fact-checking tool and provide context for rich conversations. Unfortunately, not all sources are reliable and using an inaccurate source can undermine any argument. So what makes a source credible?

Students often hear advice like “Wikipedia isn’t a reliable source” and “stay away from blogs”, but what about the endless articles and research papers that are only a Google search away? Here are a few tips to help find a source that will add value to any discussion.

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Exploring Packback: Students on the Impact and Direction of Journalism

Journalism students at Indiana University Bloomington are taking a unique approach to master the art of storytelling. Their weekly discussion of Pulitzer Prize works on Packback has even challenged the practices of traditional journalism by questioning the relevance of food critics and the power of podcasts.

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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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