Packback Alignment
with ISTE Standards

Packback demonstrates robust alignment with several key areas of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) student standards framework that aims to develop critical skills for learners in the modern, technology-driven world. Specifically, Packback supports the empowerment of students to leverage technology to take an active role in choosing, achieving and demonstrating competency in their learning goals, reflecting the ISTE Empowered Learner standard. Additionally, Packback promotes thoughtful engagement with learning resources and peers to build knowledge while acting safely, legally and ethically, aligning with the ISTE Digital Citizen standard.

Furthermore, Packback provides tools for students to identify and develop understanding of interdisciplinary concepts through hands-on creation, iteration and analysis, mirroring the ISTE Knowledge Constructor standard. Finally, Packback facilitates meaningful learning exchanges where students clarify their own perspectives while understanding others’, using technologies to enrich communication, meeting the ISTE Creative Communicator standard. The personalized, collaborative and creative nature of the Packback platform aligns with the ISTE framework and empowers the development of well-rounded skills vital for students’ futures.

1.1 Empowered Learner

ISTE StandardAbout StandardPackback’s Alignment
Learning Goals
Students articulate and set personal learning goals, develop strategies leveraging technology to achieve them and reflect on the learning process itself to improve learning outcomes.Strong Alignment: Students take an active role in choosing their learning goals because they have the agency to direct their academic discussions. Students start discussions on Packback by asking their peers a content-based question they care about. Students have the autonomy to meet or exceed expectations based on the rigor and quality of their posts and quantity of engagements they have with peers. Students have the ability to edit their work in real-time based on feedback and can edit after submission.
Customized Learning Environments:
Students build networks and customize their learning environments in ways that support the learning process.Strong Alignment: Students build a network of online connections with their peers and teachers in their Packback communities, which have a social media like structure. They interact by replying to posts or “sparking” one anothers’ posts. Students make customizations to suit their learning needs when formatting their Packback submissions, submitting via text, video, or with multimedia. Students can also create a customized avatar to represent how they wish to be seen by their peers in their learning environment supporting self-expression.
Feedback to Improve Practice:
Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their practice and to demonstrate their learning in a variety of ways.Strong Alignment: Students have an active role in demonstrating their learning because they have real-time access to Packback’s A.I.-powered feedback. Instead of waiting for an instructor to provide feedback, students are empowered to seek writing feedback in the platform to make improvements on their work.
Technology Operations:
Students understand the fundamental concepts of technology operations; demonstrate the ability to choose, use and troubleshoot current technologies; and are able to transfer their knowledge to explore emerging technologies.Strong Alignment: By engaging with Packback’s Instructional A.I., students practice using and troubleshooting current technology. Students are able to transfer their knowledge of technology operations to a new platform and the emerging technology of A.I..

1.2 Digital Citizen

ISTE StandardAbout StandardPackback’s Alignment
Digital Footprint:
Students cultivate and manage their digital identity and reputation, and are aware of the permanence of their
actions in the digital world.
Strong Alignment: Students become aware of their digital identity in their Packback community. Students create their own avatar and publicly share posts to their peer community. They have an opportunity to practice modeling behaviors and taking academic risks that will yield the reputation they seek to build. Students develop a portfolio of writing which is retained for the duration of their educational career, helping them reflect on their growth and identity over time.
Online Behavior:
Students engage in positive, safe, legal and ethical behavior when using technology, including in social interactions online or when using networked devices.Strong Alignment: The structures Packback puts in place, like Community Guidelines, A.I.-assisted discussion moderation, and features for teacher and student moderation, help students clearly
communicate and engage in social interactions in positive, safe, and ethical ways.
Intellectual Property:
Students demonstrate an understanding of and respect for the rights and obligations of using and sharing intellectual property.Strong Alignment: Packback’s features, like plagiarism detection and coaching on proper source citation, coach students how to uphold their obligations of using and sharing intellectual property. The Community Guidelines and A.I.-assisted moderation require students to use and cite sources accurately.
Digital Privacy:
Students manage their personal data to maintain digital privacy and security, and are aware of data-collection technology used to track their navigation online.Strong Alignment: Students on Packback have control over the retention of their data. They are informed on the discussion forum if
they disclose any personally identifying information, with guidance on how to remove PII. Teachers can fully anonymize Packback when they are presenting, allowing highlighted students to maintain privacy. The terms on Packback are clearly accessible in the registration process, outlining how any data will be used.

1.3 Knowledge Constructor

ISTE StandardAbout StandardPackback’s Alignment
Effective Research Strategies:
Students plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits.Strong Alignment: Packback’s Research Assistant provides students with real-time feedback on source quality that helps them employ effective research strategies. For example, students receive feedback on the risks inherent to user-generated sources and guidance to what would help them locate more reliable research.
Evaluate Information:
Students evaluate the accuracy, perspective, credibility and relevance of information, media, data or other resources.Strong Alignment: Packback provides students with real-time feedback on source credibility, as well as assistance on MLA and APA citation, which helps students employ effective research strategies and evaluate the accuracy and credibility of information.
Curate Information:
Students curate information from digital resources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections of artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions.Strong Alignment: Packback helps students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools by encouraging the citation of sources on each of their posts and writing assignments.On Deep Dives, students can cite a variety of artifacts (links, citations, videos, articles, media) that help them demonstrate knowledge and make conclusions in their essays.
Explore Real-World Issues:
Students build knowledge by actively exploring real-world issues and problems, developing ideas and theories, and pursuing answers and solutions.Strong Alignment: Students also construct knowledge by making meaning of course content through discussions with their peers. Student interest drives the discussion, allowing students ample opportunity to explore real-world issues and develop their own ideas about them.

1.4 Innovative Designer

ISTE StandardAbout StandardPackback’s Alignment
Design Process:
Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.Strong Alignment: Students on Packback are guided through a human-centered design process to develop their inquiries and/or essays, with guided feedback and a focus on individual perspectives and curiosity. They generate artifacts in the form of a portfolio of inquiries and written submissions showing growth over time. Discussions on Packback focus on applying class concepts to real-world problems and creating cross-disciplinary connections.
Design Constraints:
Students select and use digital tools to plan and manage a design process that considers design constraints and calculated risks.Alignment: Students on Packback work within a defined system of constraints for developing their work that helps to enforce a process of development. Students often experiment with the limitations of the Automatic Moderation System to find the limits of the system and discover the risks present in taking low-effort actions on the platform. Those risks are balanced by a student centered process for allowing students to rectify mistakes after submission.
Students develop, test and refine prototypes as part of a cyclical design process.Alignment: While Packback is not directly a tool for prototyping, the spirit of iterative development and improvement is a core aspect of the experience on Packback. Students receive real-time feedback while they write, and if their work does not meet requirements, they can edit and republish their work until it meets expectations and the student is satisfied with their results. The platform takes a mastery learning approach, allowing students to “try until they succeed”.
Open-Ended Problems:
Students exhibit a tolerance for ambiguity, perseverance and the capacity to work with open-ended problemsStrong Alignment: On Packback, students pose open-ended questions about real-world issues related to course content. Their peers respond and engage in what is purposefully designed to be an open-ended discussion. Through routine discussions, students learn to accept that there is often not one right answer, learning to persevere into the next discussion with the ambiguity.

1.5 Computational Thinker

ISTE StandardAbout StandardPackback’s Alignment
Problem Definitions:
Students formulate problem definitions suited for technology-assisted methods such as data analysis, abstract models and algorithmic thinking in exploring and finding solutions.Alignment: On Packback, teachers have the ability to create custom writing assignments and rubrics that can easily be used to facilitate assignments in which students clearly define and describe a problem related to technological methods to develop solutions.
Data Sets:
Students collect data or identify relevant data sets, use digital tools to analyze them and represent data in various ways to facilitate problem-solving and decision-making.Alignment: On Packback, students can complete assignments in which they can represent data through uploading charts, diagrams, code blocks, or linking to explanatory videos. Students on Packback primarily interact through text, but that text can be enriched through a range of rich media.
Decompose Problems:
Students break problems into component parts, extract key information and develop descriptive models to understand complex systems or facilitate problem-solving.Alignment: Students on Packback are prompted to follow the Inquiry Model of learning; reflecting on course concepts, identifying novel problems or questions related to those concepts, and formulating those novel problems as an interactive question that helps to spark reflection from peers. The platform supports threaded interactive discussions and helps to guide critical debates in a constructive manner.
Algorithmic Thinking:
Students understand how automation works and use algorithmic thinking to develop a sequence of steps to create and test automated solutions.Alignment: Students on Packback are informed, with a great deal of transparency, how their work is being evaluated by the AI. Basic AI literacy skills are supported through the platform’s user experience.

1.6 Creative Communicator

ISTE StandardAbout StandardPackback’s Alignment
Choose Platforms or Tools:
Students choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication.Strong Alignment: Students can select which formats and digital media, such as including videos, images, GIFs, infographics, etc. are most appropriate for each context of their assignments, which span a variety of content areas.
Original and Remixed Works:
Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.Strong Alignment: Students create original works in Packback. They are prompted to responsibly incorporate digital resources through coaching on their citations.
Models and Visualizations:
Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.Strong Alignment: Students communicate complex ideas on Packback in a variety of cross-curricular contexts, and they have the ability to use a variety of digital objects and visualizations in their assignments.
Customize the Message:
Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.Strong Alignment: Because Packback is cross-curricular and suitable for all content areas, students practice expressing themselves clearly and customizing their message for a variety of academic contexts.

1.7 Global Collaborator

ISTE StandardAbout StandardPackback’s Alignment
Global Connections:
Students use digital tools to connect with learners from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, engaging with them in ways that broaden mutual understanding and learning.Strong Alignment: On Packback, students are in course communities mapped to their LAUSD communities, meaning students are having academic discussions with peers of diverse backgrounds and cultures. The Platform’s guidelines, “sparking” feature, and moderation features support healthy debate and broaden students’ perspectives beyond those of their friend circle.
Multiple Viewpoints:
Students use collaborative technologies to work with others, including peers, experts and community members, to examine issues and problems from multiple viewpoints.Strong Alignment: Packback is a collaborative technology that allows students to work with their peers to discuss authentic, real-world issues related to their academic content. The interface and structure of assignments exposes students to every classmates’ viewpoint.
Project Teams:
Students contribute constructively to project teams, assuming various roles and responsibilities to work effectively toward a common goal.Strong Alignment: Students provide collegial feedback on one another’s posts and work together toward the goal of that assignment. Students play different roles, sometimes starting the discussion and other times working independently or chiming in with a Supporting Point or Counterpoint.
Local and Global Issues:
Students explore local and global issues, and use collaborative technologies to work with others to investigate solutions.Strong Alignment: Packback is content agnostic and student-driven, meaning it’s suitable for examination of a wide variety of local and global issues. Teachers can create custom assignments around a particular issue, and oftentimes, student inquiry drives the collaborative investigation into real-world issues.

Download a PDF Version

Applicable across the curriculum for (almost) any course

Packback is applicable to any course with a writing component. Packback has been used by over 2 million students, at more than 700 institutions, across thousands of different courses and subject areas.

Popular subjects of courses using Packback include:

  • Psychology
  • History
  • Biology
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • Communications
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • Philosophy
  • Education
  • Human Resources
  • Physics
  • Environmental Science
  • Art History
  • Business Administration
  • English
  • Language Arts
  • Nursing
  • Humanities
  • and many more.


Packback leads to more successful student and faculty outcomes than LMS discussion.

  • Lower DFW rates
  • Increased A’s and B’s
  • More consistent discussion engagement
  • Improved self-reported writing confidence in students
  • >30% time savings for instructors when grading

Packback collaborated with 12 institutions to run a multi-year study of student outcomes on Packback.

Download the Whitepaper


Packback proudly offers student-paid or institutional-paid, individual licensing for departments, or campus-wide pricing options. 

Packback can support full institution-paid models, institution-subsidized models, and Inclusive Access. Our team will work closely with you to make sure and find the pricing model is the best fit for your institution.

Request a Quote