Deep Dives: Student and Instructor Outcomes

This study explores results of a multi-month series of surveys of the students and instructors using Deep Dives in its first term of use. Students reported receiving better grades, feeling more confident in their writing, and enjoying writing assignments more. Instructors reported significantly faster grading times, easier and more manageable grading overall, and greater satisfaction with the quality of student writing. 

Cover of Deep Dives Research Paper

Student Outcome: Students earn more A’s with Deep Dives

What average grade do you receive on writing assignments (with and without Deep Dives)?

Barchart showing an 11% lift in students reporting receiving A's on their writing assignments on average after using Deep Dives.


More A’s

There was an 11% increase in students reporting receiving A’s on their assignments completed using Deep Dives, compared to the grades they received on past writing assignments without Deep Dives (P=.0026).

Student Outcome: Students become more confident writers

How confident do you feel in your writing abilities when completing a writing assignment (with and without Deep Dives)?

Barchart showing a lift in students reporting that they feel "Extremely confident" and "Very Confident" when writing, after using Deep Dives compared to before.



64.96% of students reported feeling confident when completing writing assignments when using Deep Dives, compared to just 41.72% of students before using Deep Dives. This represents a 55% increase in students that feel confident when writing because of Deep Dives (P=<0.001)

Instructor Outcome: Instructors have to spend 30% less time grading each essay

Did Packback Deep Dives make it more feasible/manageable to assign writing assignments, compared to classes without Deep Dives?

Barchart showing that 78% of instructors either Strongly Agree, Agree, or Somewhat Agree that Packback Deep Dives makes it more manageable to assign writing.


of Faculty Agree

78% of instructors agreed that Packback Deep Dives makes assigning and grading writing assignments more feasible and manageable, compared to assigning writing in classes without Deep Dives. The average grading-time-per-essay decreased from 13 minutes to 9 minutes, on average.

Instructor Outcome: Instructors are more satisfied with their students’ writing quality

How satisfied are you with your students’ writing quality?

Barchart showing a huge lift in instructors reporting that they are satisfied with student writing quality when using deep Dives; from 41% before Deep Dives to 78% with Deep Dives.


of Faculty Agree

89% increase in instructors reporting that they were either “Very Satisfied” or “Satisfied” with their students’ writing after using Deep Dives (P=.0003), compared to their satisfaction with student writing over the past 3 years prior to Deep Dives.

Cover of Deep Dives Research Paper

Summary: In Fall 2022, Packback Deep Dives launched. Early faculty and student users were surveyed about their experience. 53 instructor responses, and 620 student responses are reflected in this research summary that explores student outcomes and faculty outcomes after using Deep Dives.

Get a copy of the paper