The Packback Blog

Enhancing Student Engagement, Sentiment, and Teaching Evaluations with Packback

One of the realities of teaching in higher education is that student evaluations are core to the tenure and promotion process, at least when it comes to assessment of teaching practice and course quality. It’s often a review committee’s only direct window into how your students perceive you, your quality as an instructor, and the efficacy of the courses you’ve created and executed. We know a few other things about them, too – good, bad, or ugly.

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How Instructional AI Feedback Can Improve Student Outcomes and Classroom Engagement

Often when you hear or read the words “AI feedback” you think of generative AI tools like ChatGPT, Claude, Gemini, etc. that do the writing and thinking for students. These tools can be given a simple prompt and return answers sophisticated enough to pass the bar exam.

This however, is a common misconception. In fact, there are several other forms of AI feedback, like Instructional AI, that when used and implemented properly, can scaffold and support learning, while simultaneously acting as an extension of the teacher. These pedagogically sound AI feedback loops have even been shown to improve student outcomes, enhance writing skills, and promote better classroom engagement.

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The Future of Education: AI Learning Tools for Students and Teachers

The education landscape is rapidly evolving due to advancements in artificial intelligence (AI). AI learning tools are being used in classrooms, giving students new learning opportunities and helping teachers educate. As the pioneers of Instructional AI, Packback is leading the way providing powerful AI feedback for every student and every teacher.

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How Will AI Impact Education in 2024?

2023 was certainly a banner year for AI. It exploded and seemingly dominated almost every conversation; from home, to the workplace, to the classroom, it was basically unavoidable. I don’t know about you, but it also was a topic of conversation around the dinner table during the holiday season, and let me tell you, there were some wild opinions shared (looking at you Uncle Mark).

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How to Create an AI Policy for Your Classroom

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, “artificial intelligence (AI) tools like ChatGPT are appearing in classrooms across the country and teachers are scrambling to learn how to create AI policies for their classrooms”.

You’ve probably heard that exact sentence millions of times, and for good reason. While these generative AI chatbots can help students brainstorm ideas or explain concepts, they also raise concerns about academic integrity and plagiarism. As an educator, creating a clear AI policy for your classroom is crucial.

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The Rise of Instructional AI

As is so often the case when new and disruptive technologies arrive on the scene, many education institutions have reacted to generative AI like ChatGPT with alarm. Much of the discussion among both K-12 districts and universities has focused on the way that essay and discussion prompts may be susceptible to academic dishonesty by students using ChatGPT and other forms of generative AI. The result is that many institutional leaders are investing in tools that promise to detect AI-generated writing content. Some school districts have banned the use of generative AI outright, in hopes that such policies will deter students from using it to cheat. Those policies have, in turn, prompted backlash from educators like Ethan Mollick, who have made the case for a more thoughtful approach.

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Packback Explores How Academia is Adapting to Generative AI

Since OpenAI launched ChatGPT in November 2022, the generative AI chatbot has already become a household name. ChatGPT reached its first one million users in less than a week and by some estimates has already reached at least 100 million monthly active users. Parents, students, and educators alike have been impressed, and sometimes alarmed, at the chatbot’s ability to understand complex questions and requests and articulate sophisticated concepts. 

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Recent Articles

Michelle Barton: Teacher Turned Packbacker

Hi! For those of you I haven’t met, my name is Michelle Barton, I’m a former teacher turned Packbacker. Ever since second grade, I knew I had a love for education and that I wanted to be a teacher (and believe me, everyone else around me knew it too). Teaching is something very near and dear to my heart, some would say I was born with the need to teach! 

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5 Spring Break Tips for Educators

On Sunday, February 2, 2024 our dear friend Punxsutawney Phil poked out of his hole and showed us his furry little face for the first time since 2023. As Philly Fahrenheit walked around that day, he saw many things, but one thing he didn’t see was his shadow. Which meant spring would be coming soon around the corner.

Fast forward to March, and as our friend Phil foretold, Spring is indeed here meaning we are inching ever closer to Spring break. For students, Spring break offers a chance to unwind, blow off some steam and forget their responsibilities for a week. However, Spring break means something different for educators.

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All Things Accessibility

I’m Viktor Köves, a front-end engineer and accessibility specialist at Packback. I am incredibly passionate about accessibility and believe that accessibility is a moral obligation, legal obligation, and a civil right. Despite the many laws and regulations in place, I find pervasive gaps in accessibility – whether it’s at my local train station or on the online ordering portal of a popular fast casual chain restaurant that specializes in bowls and burritos. 😉

I wasn’t always passionate about nor an expert on web accessibility. So my intention is to share a bit of information on accessibility, and how designing technology with accessibility benefits all of us!

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How Packback Ensures Regular and Substantive Interaction for Academic Accreditation

Higher education accreditors like WASC Senior College & University Commission (WSCUC) and The Higher Learning Commission (HLC) require colleges and universities to demonstrate regular and substantive interaction (RSI) between instructors and students in order to maintain accreditation. This becomes even more important when it comes to online courses where face-to-face engagement is limited.

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Request a Demo of the Packback Questions Platform

Curious to learn more? One of our friendly strategy consultants will be excited to meet you and discuss your course learning objectives. We will provide a free consultation to see if Packback would be a good fit for your class!

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