Tips and tricks for ensuring your first semester using Packback in your course goes smoothly.
You’ve elected to use Packback in your course. Now what?
We’re personalizing your Packback community and it’ll be ready soon! As you prepare for the semester, we have a few resources and a real person to help you along the way. When you’re ready, take a look at the Packback Planning Checklist and check out the post below for more information. Don’t forget that your Experience Manager (Packback TA) is available to answer any questions and guide you throughout the term!
Finalize Your Packback Plan
The Packback Experience Manager is your “Online TA” for Packback. They make your life easier by helping you plan for the term, making sure your community runs smoothly and providing insights into community health. Even when you get busy, you can be confident that your Experience Manager is checking in on your Packback community! So before the term starts, it’s important to meet your Experience Manager and share your course goals.
- Complete an Onboarding Call. Attend an Onboarding Call to meet your Experience Manager, set goals for your class and learn how they will support you during the term.
- Submit your class roster. Don’t stress about getting your students signed up and registered with Packback. Simply email your roster to your Experience Manager and they’ll assist students in setting up their accounts. If students signup or drop off after you submit your roster, you can add or remove students with the Manage Roster tool on Packback or email an updated roster to your Experience Manager.
- Schedule a final check-in call. Schedule and attend a check-in call about a week before the start of class to discuss goals and expectations for the term. This is also a great time to ask any other questions you have about Packback.
Prepare for the First Day of Class
Introducing Packback on the first day of class and sharing why you decided to use Packback, gets students excited to participate and will lead to fewer student questions. Don’t worry, we have resources that you can easily update and share on the first day of your class!
- Update your syllabus. Add our customizable Sample Syllabus Statement into your syllabus prior to the start of class. Make sure to include posting requirements and the specific grading structure for Packback so students can reference requirements throughout the term.
- Prepare your 1st Day of Class Presentation. When students understand why they’re using Packback Questions, they’re more likely to participate. To help explain the importance of Packback, share the following with your students.
- Pick the first questions your student will see. We seed each community with a few questions so your students will have examples when they log in. If you want to add your own questions, you can do so by clicking the red “Ask A New Question” button from your community’s homepage.
(Optional) Add Packback to Your Schedule
The great thing about Packback is professors don’t have to spend much time on the platform. Actually, we’ve found that professors who spend as little as 10 minutes a week on Packback tend to see great results!
- Decide how much time to dedicate to Packback per week. It’s important to have a plan going into the term. We suggest blocking out as little as 10 minutes each week on your calendar to browse student posts, provide feedback and feature quality questions and responses. If you find posts or conversations that really stand out, consider bringing those posts into class. By bringing Packback posts into the classroom, not only are you reinforcing information, but you’re also showing your students that the work they’re doing on Packback is beneficial to their learning.
- Schedule a check-in call with your Experience Manager. Once the semester starts, check-in with your Experience Manager to get insights into community performance, discover trending topics and find great conversations from your students. This is a great time to review community performance and make sure everything is on track to reach your goals!
If your students have questions, direct them to us! Students are going to have questions, and we don’t expect you to be a Packback expert right away. Just have them email our customer support at holla@packback and our team will assist your students with anything from questions about registration, to understanding why a question was flagged or why they received a certain curiosity score. You can also share the student resources section of our blog, which has tips on citing sources, asking quality questions and earning a high Curiosity Score!
We understand that preparing for a new semester can be busy, so we’ve made starting out on Packback simple! Whether you need help with your first day of class presentation or deciding which posts to feature, we are here to help. We’re excited to help increase engagement and build critical thinking skills in your students!
Want to see a live Packback community and learn how you can increase student engagement and critical thinking in your course?