The Packback Blog

Building Connections Through Academic Discussion

Dr. Paivi Hoikkala teaches upper-level online history courses at California Polytechnic State University, Pomona. Her primary goal, aside from getting her students to have a general sense of chronology, is to help them make connections between the past and the present. “One of the main things I want students to get from the class is […]

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 […]

Case Study: Engaging Students with Technology

Case Study of how one professor at Michigan State University utilized technology in the classroom to increase student engagement, promote critical thinking and improve student exam grades. 

Case Study: Using Packback In Large Lectures

In this case study, Dr. Stephanie Tikkanen shares how she utilized Packback to bring online discussion into her large, 400-student course. In the process, she found herself more connected to her students as well.

Case Study: How Different Discussion Methods Affect Student Engagement

A professor at the University of Georgia performed an experiment comparing the effectiveness of Packback, Blackboard and written reaction papers. When Dr. Matt Goren was presented with an opportunity to teach Introduction to Personal Finance at the University of Georgia, he wanted to engage his students and equip them to make smart financial decisions during […]

Case Study: Creating an Inclusive Classroom with Packback

Case Study explaining how student-focused professor Dr. Mark Reisinger engages and connects with 150+ students in a single lecture using Packback discussion for the past several years.

Engaging Students in Large Lectures [Case Study]

INSTITUTION UC Davis DEPARTMENT Neurobiology, Physiology and Behavior COURSE Animal Behavior SIZE 170-400 Students After teaching at Harvard University for seven years, Dr. Stacey Combes was excited to pursue tenure at the University of California, Davis. But transferring to UC Davis meant trading intimate, discussion-driven classes for amphitheaters filled with hundreds of non-majors. Even with […]

Case Study: Improving Critical Thinking Through Online Discussion

Case Study about how graduate Dr. Jennifer Summers at Grand Valley State University uses Packback to prepare students for their careers in Occupational Therapy.