The Packback Blog

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CEO Mike Shannon at the ASU GSV Summit

“We are reversing education’s fast-answer epidemic, reviving the life skill of asking great questions by awakening and fueling lifelong curiosity, no matter the scale.”

Listen to our co-founder and CEO Mike Shannon discuss the mission of Packback at the ASU/GSV conference.

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Student-Driven Discussions with Packback

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.

Read more “Student-Driven Discussions with Packback”

Watch Packback’s Jessica Tenuta at TEDxNormal

Our cofounder, Jessica Tenuta spoke at TEDxNormal 2015 about the critical importance of cultivating curiosity in education. We believe that every great innovation is born out of a great question…but students are being taught to answer questions in school, not ask them.

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Recent Articles

Using Academic Discussion to Encourage Reading

Dr. Bryan McCarthy teaches introduction and upper-level philosophy courses to non-majors at the University of Pittsburgh-Greensburg. He challenges his students to move beyond  memorizing theories and philosophers and to engage with readings and discussions that challenge the way they think. “Philosophy is definitely a different kind of thinking,” explains Dr. McCarthy. “What we specifically talk about is almost not important. It’s mostly just giving them an opportunity to think in a new way for the first time on their own, and topics and the philosophers that we talk about are all in service to that.”

Read more “Using Academic Discussion to Encourage Reading”

An Introduction to Feed Sorting and Section Small Groups with Packback CPO Jessica Tenuta

This spring Packback released two new features; Feed Sorting and Section Small Groups. Packback CPO Jessica Tenuta shares how these new features improve the visibility of online discussions and help students discover trending posts and unanswered questions.

Read more “An Introduction to Feed Sorting and Section Small Groups with Packback CPO Jessica Tenuta”

Introducing Section Small Groups

In the 3 years since Packback Questions was released, Packback has researched many ways of helping big classes feel more personal. Thanks to feedback from professor users about the desire for more flexibility in subdividing communities and grouping students by section, Packback has released a new feature called “Section Small Groups” that allows students to participate with the entire class or filter their experience on Packback to only include students from their own section.

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Introducing Feed Sorting

There are thousands of awesome, deep discussions happening on Packback every day, but navigating and finding all of those great discussions used to be a challenge. We now have several new ways to sort and order questions so users can easily find the best, most thought-provoking content!

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What’s Going on at Packback: January 2019

We’re only a month into the new year, but Packback has already achieved some major milestones in 2019! We’ve moved to a new space, doubled our sales team and added a new round of capital which will be used to continue our mission of fueling lifelong curiosity. Plus, we have a lot of exciting goals for the rest of the year including growing our team, improving our platform and supporting our professors with research.

Read more “What’s Going on at Packback: January 2019”

An Introduction to Packback with Dr. Kathleen West

Packback was joined by Dr. Kathleen West from the University of North Carolina Charlotte to discuss how she uses Packback to improve student critical thinking and writing. She also shares key learnings from her research comparing how different discussion methods impacted student participation and written test exams. This research was presented at NITOP 2019.

Read more “An Introduction to Packback with Dr. Kathleen West”