The Packback Blog

Recent Articles

Wait! Aren’t you in my class?: Dealing with the loss of informal student interaction

Connecting with my students outside of class was always a part of my daily routine on campus. Not only did these conversations allow me to get to know my students as more than just faces in the classroom, but they gave me the unique ability to maintain a genuine, caring presence in their lives. Now, in a remote setting, making sure that these essential points of informal contact don’t become ancient history has become more important than ever.

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National University Launches Use of Packback to Strengthen Online Learning Experience

A recent story published by Betsy Foresman for EdScoop details National University’s decision to pilot the use of Packback in order to enhance the online learning experience. As an institution serving a large population of adult learners, National University hopes to offer a new level of support for a student body with diverse needs.

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Leaders in Higher Education Come Together for Packback’s Academic Innovation Board

Packback has brought together leaders in higher education transformation for its newly formed Academic Innovation Board. Members of the Board include Eduardo J. Padron, President Emeritus of Miami Dade College, Marie Cini, Chief Strategy Officer at ED2WORK, and Rufus Glasper, President and CEO of the League for Innovation and Chancellor Emeritus at Maricopa Community College District.

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New Article from Inside Higher Ed Highlights Lessons Learned from Community Colleges During COVID-19

A new article by Xueli Wang for Inside Higher Ed highlights lessons learned from community colleges during a chaotic fall semester. As leaders in innovation serving widely diverse demographics, the takeaways from these institutions in light of COVID are essential for all of higher education.

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Recent Article by Ebony O. McGee Highlights Twelve Ways for Faculty to Better Support Black Academics

In a recent article for the Chronicle of Higher Education, Ebony O. McGee, associate professor of diversity and STEM education at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, highlights twelve ways white faculty can support Black academics department and campus-wide. One way to be an ally? Acknowledge power’s place in our institutions and adopt specific ways to dismantle that power long term.

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Socratic Discussion and STEM: The Magic Formula

As a college mathematics instructor, Professor Violeta Kovacev-Nikolic is confident that few people would be able to guess one of her essential teaching tools for teaching math; online discussion. We sat down with her to discuss the “why” behind her philosophy.

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The Common Application Has Removed the Discipline Question Due to Racial Disparities. What Other Structural Barriers Stand in the Way of BIPOC Students?

The Common App recently decided to get rid of a question which asked students applying to college if they had been subject to disciplinary action in high school. Although the decision to get rid of the discriminatory question is a victory for inclusion and access in higher education, it raises an important follow-up question– what other barriers to entry exist for BIPOC in the “standard” college application process?

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Harrisburg Area Community College (HACC) Signs Three-Year Contract with Packback as Result of National Research Study

A national study conducted on the use of artificial intelligence in the classroom has led to a three-year contract between HACC, Central Pennsylvania’s Community College, and Packback. Among findings from the study are improved student engagement and better discussion quality.

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BIPOC Students and Bias in Higher Education: The necessity of unlearning biases to optimize outcomes for BIPOC students

The realities of bias against Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) students in our nation’s predominantly White colleges and universities are hidden in the ways we have been taught to give feedback and to regard race in the classroom. This article explores how this bias harms the way that BIPOC students are able to learn and how we, as instructors, can be a part of the solution. 

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