Packback Platform Release Notes

Welcome! This page is a record of key customer-facing changes in the Packback platform and AI.

You can suggest features and changes at (and vote on other ones you like!).

May 8, 2024
Copying Professors Questions and Polls for Packback Discussion

When you or an instructor goes to copy a community from a template, you will see a field called “Instructor Questions”. If checked, the following will happen upon copying:

  • Instructor Questions (that includes Questions with Choices) will be cloned and populated in their respective PBQ assignments
  • These Question style posts will have a publishing timestamp that corresponds with the moment a community is copied
  • If a post is pinned in a community’s assignment, that post will retain its pinned status in the new community
  • Only published posts will be copied; drafted and scheduled posts will not carry over to the new community

When you or an instructor goes to copy an existing community, you will see the option to :ballot_box_with_check: “Copy Poll Assignments”, and the suboptions to copy the :ballot_box_with_check: “Start & Due Dates” as well as the :ballot_box_with_check: “Professor Content (Polls)”. If checked, the following will happen upon copying:

  • Polls will be cloned and populated in their respective Poll assignments
  • These polls will have a publishing timestamp that corresponds with the moment a community is copied

Apr 30, 2024
Due Date Extensions for Deep Dives

This feature allows users to set deadline extensions for students for Deep Dive assignments.

A few notes on functionality:

  • A user must set a Due Date and Time for a Deep Dive assignment in order to add an extension.
  • Just like the deadline extension feature in Packback Questions, a user can add a student’s name or email and choose an extended deadline for the Deep Dive.
  • This process can be repeated for multiple students in the community.
  • Removing a deadline will delete any extensions that were previously added.
  • The extension deadline must be after the original due date.
  • Users can add deadline extensions for new and existing Deep Dives.

Mar 29, 2024
Easier Assignment Management for Deep Dives

Exciting news! Instructors can now manage Deep Dive assignments in one centralized location, just like in PBQ. Here is what instructors can do on the new Manage Assignments page:
:white_check_mark: Add and edit assignments
:white_check_mark: Delete assignments (cannot delete if there are submissions)
:white_check_mark: Utilize drag-and-drop functionality for easy reordering, shaping the assignment order within the open/closed view and DD instruct.
:white_check_mark: Inline title edits for quick adjustments.

Feb 8, 2024
Match & Message for Deep Dives

The powerful messaging tool originally built for Packback Questions is now available for Packback Deep Dives users! Professors now have access to a powerful comparison tool so they can more easily reach out to students who have shown growth between two assignments, students who have NOT shown growth between two assignments, or students who scored below a certain threshold for any given assignment.

Dec 22, 2023
Improvements to Assignment Copying

Instructors can now select specifically which attributes they want to carry into a new community, such as assignments, due date, titles, Guide Posts, and more.

Dec 2, 2023
NEW! Insights into Deep Dive Assignments

Instructors can now view insights into:

Student Participation: See how engaged students are in specific assignments.
Rubric Insights: See criterion averages in a given assignment.
Overall Stats: Get quick assignment performance insights (participation, average score, and % graded).

Oct 3, 2023
Due Date Extensions for Indiviudal Students in PBQ

Instructors can extend the deadline of a discussion assignment for an individual student. They can choose to add the extension in just one assignment, or in multiple for recurring extensions.

August 31, 2023
Separate Deadline for Questions

Instructors can now require that Questions be posted midway to an assignment’s due date.

August 1, 2023
Assignment-Based Grading in Packback Questions

Instructors can now create assignments by module or topic, with flexible due dates, assignment naming, and re-ordering.

June 22, 2023
Gradebook Sync for Deep Dives

Instructors connected to Packback with LTI version 1.3 can now automatically sync grades back to their LMS using Packback’s Gradebook Sync.

April 3, 2023
Hiding and Posting Grades in Deep Dives

Teachers now have the ability to keep grades hidden in Deep Dives until they choose to release the grades to students.

February 28, 2023
Smart Highlighting for Deep Dives Guiding Questions

This feature helps instructors more easily find where in students’ essay the student attempted to answer the guiding questions as per the assignment.

February 16, 2023
Plagiarism Diffs in Deep Dives

Instructors can now more see a side-by-side diff comparison of the student’s text to the matched text.

February 15, 2023
In-line Commenting in Deep Dives

Instructors and TA’s can now mark-up students’ essays with comments, giving our instructors yet another way to provide quality feedback to students!

September 13, 2022
Packback Deep Dives

We are thrilled to announce that our newest product, Packback Deep Dives, is now available to add to your Spring 2023 classes. We are currently running a closed early-access program to the product. Open access to all our users will start on January 1, 2023!

August 5, 2022
LTI Roster Imports (IN BETA)

Schools using LTI 1.3 now have the ability to import course rosters into Packback. Note: this is in beta form and will still require testing in different LMSes.

July 18, 2022
Google Classroom

Packback now supports Google OAuth Single Sign-on and roster importing through Google Classroom for K12 users.

July 14, 2022
QR Codes

QR Codes are now available to teachers on each Question in a community.

June 13, 2022
Community Copying Enhancements

When copying a community, users can now edit fields before creating it. Previously you’d have to copy over everything and edit it later!

May 12, 2022
New filter for Match & Message

For instructors who use Packback Instruct, they can now optionally filter their messages to students who belong to a particular section in a Packback community.

Apr 12, 2022
Roster Upload Email Domain

When uploading a roster, a professor can now directly edit the email domain of all students on their file.

Apr 6, 2022
Updated Mobile Styling

The community feeds and post pages now have a sleeker UI when viewing on a mobile device.

Apr 5, 2022
Copying Communities

Professors now have the ability to copy their Packback communities semester-over-semester. It will retain the settings of whatever community you are copying!

Apr 5, 2022
Scheduled Questions

Professors and TAs now have the ability to schedule their questions ahead of time!

Apr 1, 2022
Enhanced Gradebook Sync in LTI 1.3

We have enhanced our gradebook sync capabilities in communities that use LTI version 1.3. The most notable difference is that Packback makes grading columns automatically in the LMS gradebook now. Students also do not need to access each assignment link to get a grade!

Mar 18, 2022
Filtering the Community Feed

Students and instructors now have the ability to filter the Community Feed to questions from a specific assignment or deadline.

Feb 15, 2022
Packback Polls Improvements

We’ve made some UX/UI improvements to our Packback polls in Packback Instruct! Students will now see a more seamless way to answer in-class polls without leaving the feedback. Instructors can now download multiple poll CSVs with results in one email.

Jan 1, 2022
Packback Instruct Launch

Packback Instruct is now LIVE and available to add to your Packback communities!

Dec 22, 2021

You can now check out your purchase for a Packback community with a PayPal account.

November 10, 2021
Upload your roster into sections

We’ve added the capability for instructors to put a CSV file of students into a Packback section, if they use them!

November 1, 2021
Coach/Praise Feedback

We made some cosmetic improvements to the way instructors give coach/praise feedback on posts so that you can view the entire contents of the post while you write your feedback.

October 19, 2021
Previewing Posts

We made it easier to read an entire post without leaving the community feed. Try clicking on the “Preview Post” link on each question and check it out!

October 12, 2021
A behind-the-scenes update…

We know this page has been quiet! It’s because our engineers are hard at work building our new add-on product, Packback Instruct, which will go live in January 2022. Check it out!

September 10, 2021
Delete praising or coaching feedback on a post

Today we added the ability for professors and TAs to remove any feedback they’ve left on a post!

August 30, 2021
Packback Communities have a fresh new look!

We have revamped the look of your Packback communities with a new look! We’ve cleaned up all the links and added them to a sleek sidebar. You can still access all the tools you are used to in the sidebar. You can also collapse it down to make more room on the page.

July 21, 2021
LTI Gradebook Sync

Instructors can now automatically send their grades from Packback into the LMS gradebook if the course is integrated via LTI. Packback supports this feature in Canvas, Blackboard, D2L Brightspace, and Moodle.

July 16, 2021
Unsubscribe to Specific Emails

All users can now unsubscribe from specific types of emails! That means you can remove yourself from “reply” emails if you have a popular post that is blowing up your inbox. 😉
The only emails you CAN’T unsubscribe from are account verification, password reset emails, and alerts when your homework post has been moderated.

Message at any time if you want to opt back in to certain emails.

July 8, 2021
Gradebook Override: the whole class!

Professors and TAs can now override the grade for the entire class in the gradebook. Click the Override Grades button at the top of the gradebook. You can choose between changing everyone’s grade, or just those students who have zero credit so far. A dot indicator next to the grade means that it’s been overridden!

July 2, 2021
Gradebook Override

Professors and TAs can now override the grade for each individual student in the gradebook. Click the pencil icon next to a grade to change it – a dot indicator next to the grade means that it’s been overridden!

June 14th, 2021
Community Start Date

Once your community has started, instructors will no longer be able to change the community’s start date if you’ve decided to use Packback’s automated grading deadlines. This is to cut down on grading mishaps and confusion! You can always use our “skip deadline” functionality if you want to skip the first few grading periods on Packback.

Edit Your Posts Any Time!

Students can now edit their post content ANY time – yes, even after someone has replied to it! Packback used to lock down the edit button once another user had replied to your post, but we realized that was hurting more than helping!

May 19th, 2021
Presenter Mode Privacy Change

When you turn on “Presenter Mode” it will work as usual, but will also now remove the campus associated with a user or post.

April 29th, 2021
Explore Mode Privacy Change

As of this evening, any user who is trying to view a community or a post of a community that they are not a member of, they will not be able to see it. Admins will continue to be able to see any post or community.