Posts tagged Packback

Facilitating Academic Discussions with Packback

We are stuck in a fast-answer epidemic. Students have practiced finding the quickest solution, instead of learning how to internalize information and participating in thought-provoking discussions. At Packback, we believe that when students are given an opportunity to be curious and ask the big questions, they’ll be equipped with skills to become future innovators. Packback encourages students to explore classroom materials in a new and interesting way, which makes students more willing to engage and apply their learnings.

What Is Packback?

Packback Questions is a tool used to supplement a professor’s teaching style and help achieve learning objectives such as increased engagement and critical thinking. Packback facilitates online discussion and uses Artificial Intelligence to help professors provide individual coaching, moderate and grade discussions and motivate students throughout the term.

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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 Post a Quality Response on Packback

A question starts a conversation, but a response fuels an engaging discussion where students can learn through interaction and debate. Just like asking great questions, formulating an engaging response takes practice and can be improved by using structure. After understanding the Community Guidelines and how to ask a quality question, check out this breakdown of an 82-point response on Packback to learn the key components of a great response and how to earn a high Curiosity Score.

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Exploring Packback: General Microbiology Students Discuss Vaccines

General Microbiology students at the University of Illinois at Chicago are focused on applying information from lectures and outside research to real-world scenarios. Each week the class uses Packback to share and discuss hot topics in science. One of the most active discussions explored how vaccines are perceived, their effectiveness and why some people distrust vaccines.          

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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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Introducing the Sparks Feature on Packback

Today, the Packback team released a new feature on the Packback Questions platform, called Sparks. Sparks work a bit like upvotes or likes on other social platforms, but with a much more specific (and important!) purpose.

Sparks are given to posts which truly “Sparked your Curiosity”, to show appreciation to the original writer and help the community recognize the most curious posts. Sparks also help other students recognize posts that have been inspiring to their classmates, and gives professors valuable insight into what their students are most curious about.

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