The Packback Blog

Recent Articles

#UndergraduateVoices: “Student Experience” Webinar Panelists Share Their Thoughts on Care in the Classroom in Recent Article

In a recent article for The Hechinger Report, panelists from Packback’s “Student Experience” webinar, Jaida Sloan and Austin Catania, share how their professors made a difference in their classes during a semester marked by a health crisis by emphasizing care. Sloan and Catania highlight Packback as one of the ways their professors showed “care through curiosity.”

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On the Topic of Black History: Exploring the Legacy of America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities

Every year during Black History Month, the higher education community turns its eyes to America’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), which have a rich significance that extends far beyond what tends to make headline news. These institutions are enriched by a history that begins with resilience in the face of racism and oppression and has deepened into a legacy of education, service, and support above all. In celebration of this month, we’re taking a deep dive into the history of HBCUs — and how their past informs their present and future.

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Packback Cited as One Way Institutions Are Making the Most of COVID-19 Relief Funding

In a recent article for the New England Journal of Higher Education, Richard Pattenaude, President Emeritus of Ashford University, addresses the recently passed Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act. The article details the bill’s requirements and offers examples of how institutions are using funding in innovative ways.

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From Disenchanted with Discussion to Inspired about Inquiry: My Experience Adopting Packback

In this article, Professor Sarah Garman explores her experience teaching online for over a decade and the disenchantment she experienced with traditional online discussion after years of hard effort on her part never quite yielding the results she wanted. With that skeptical attitude, she tried Packback and found her excitement towards discussion reinvigorated through Packback’s inquiry-based approach.

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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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