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.
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!