Posts tagged updates

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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What’s New with Packback

Some of you may be wondering what Packback has been up to lately. About a year ago, we claimed space in our own office in Chicago’s South Loop and introduced our 1.0 platform, Packback Answers. Shortly after, in the Summer of 2016, we launched our 2.0 platform, Packback Questions. We shared about this update back in August, including the feature tab, how the clusters feature makes every class size feel intimate, information about our community management and a tutorial for new users to Packback Questions.

So what have we been up to since August? We’re glad you asked!

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Rich Text Editing: Beautifully Add Images, Videos, Text Formatting (and Even Emojis!) to Posts on Packback

The Packback Product Team has integrated Rich Text Editing into the Packback Questions platform to allow every student to fully express their ideas through videos, images, formatted text, formulas and more. Communities on Packback span a huge range of majors, and the introduction of Rich Text Editing provides all of our communities with the tools to fully and clearly explore any subject matter.

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Introducing the new Packback Questions Tutorial

The first few weeks in a Packback Questions community set the tone of the rest of the semester. In those first few weeks, the goal is to get everyone using Packback to buy in to the importance of asking great questions, learn the community guidelines, and start posting. No longer are those critical first moments on the platform left to chance; Packback Questions has a new tutorial that ensures that every community will get off to the best possible start!

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The Featured Tab: All the best posts, just a click away.

In Packback Questions communities across the nation, thousands of questions are posted per week. That is a lot of questions flowing through the platform, which could make it easy to miss some of the best posts. The new Featured Tab places the best discussions in every community in their own easy-to-navigate tab, so they are always only one click away.

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Packback Community Management: Creating a safe space for curiosity in every community

In the past year, Packback’s team of Community Managers have moderated over 350,000 questions and responses and maintained the health of all of the Curiosity Communities on Packback Questions.

How did they do it?

Through careful manual moderating and coaching around the Packback Community Guidelines, supported by Crowdsourced Flagging (where students and professors help “flag” offending posts in their own communities) and augmented by Packback’s proprietary Community Health Algorithm (that notifies our Community Managers of all posts that may not meet the Community Guidelines).

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Introducing Clusters: Helping large lecture halls feel small

The Packback team has rolled out a new feature called Clusters to help give every student the same great experience even regardless of their class size. Large lecture halls of hundreds (or thousands!) of students can now guarantee that every student can have their voice heard and their questions answered.

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No more wandering…Packback found a home!

The story of how Packback — and our equally scrappy, entrepreneurial landlord — turned a vacant space in Chicago’s South Loop into a true home for our team on the tightest budget you can imagine.

Packback has lived in 6 offices in our 4 short years of existence. Ok, ok, maybe 6 is an exaggeration…since our first “office” was actually just our 4 person founding team clustered into a very, very dirty college apartment.

The last four years have been quite a journey. We’ve come a long way from starting as college students with no connections, no money, no degree and no experience…to partnering with all of the largest publishers in America, and having our platform in use across the country by over 50 universities. We’ve helped over 120,000 students save money on their books (over $14 Million in fact, by our calculation!) with Packback Price Comparison and Packback eTextbook Rentals. We’ve had over 100,000 curious questions and answers posted on our platform. We’ve had 83 professors this semester integrate Packback into their classroom as their full classroom curiosity solution.

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