Student Jenna Baker shares her experience with Packback Questions.
One of the major life skills I have acquired from using Packback is a strong sense of cooperation. I appreciate the very specific requirement that was made that students ask at least one question but respond to/answer two questions. I came to the realization that this specific requirement had an influence on me throughout the semester. While in some chapters, I felt I had so many questions I could use help thinking out, there were other chapters in which I felt I had none. In those situations, Packback is what made me think further and find something of an even higher order to speculate about. Similarly, having to answer two questions required that I constantly engage with my peers and help others formulate solutions to proposed questions and ideas, whether broad or specific.
In many ways, Packback learners are life learners. In life, whether regarding work or a social matter, we may encounter situations in which we are unsure, or could use input from others.
Packback teaches the right way to communicate with our peers no matter what topic we are inquiring about.
Similarly, we should not always simply ask questions without contributing back to others and providing information that we know to help others grow in their areas of uncertainty. In this way, a balance is achieved in which we cooperate to promote the overall success of the learning community.
For example, in Microbiology, I found myself very confused trying to differentiate the many details regarding immunity and preventing infection. I had one specific question that I asked on Packback and was very grateful for the response I received from a peer. As shown below, not only did a student in my course answer my question to the best of their knowledge, but they also provided a link to a source, which I could turn to for further information regarding the topic. Packback’s suggested structure gave her the opportunity to provide answers to me in an organized and useful manner. That feature is key in ensuring that the answers peers provide for one another are actually helpful in learning the material.
Due to the great question/answer structuring that Packback provides, it makes it easier for us students to communicate with one another. Also, when I saw that a fellow classmate took the time to utilize those features to provide a great answer for me, it motivated me to do the same when answering other student’s questions. The same way that I benefitted from reading an organized and resourceful answer, I wanted other peers who read my answers to their questions to feel the same way.
As shown above, I tried my best to utilize Packback’s features, like bolding and bullet points amongst other formatting features to break down information into useful components for my peers to understand and use. Rather than list everything as one large paragraph, the use of bullet points makes it more manageable to read. Also, the “summary” feature in which Packback prompted me to sum up my answer in a minimal number of characters, gives other students the chance to skim over my answer quickly and benefit from it as well.
By giving care and attention when answering others’ questions on Packback, I felt that I could truly be helping my peers and positively contributing to our learning community. Similarly, I appreciated when others took the time to answer my questions in an organized and useful fashion.
The skills that we practiced through the guidance of Packback do not only apply to our class community but can and are used in everyday communications like work and social gatherings. The give-and-take nature is a platform that we all use and Packback helped me acquire the necessary skill to practice it in all aspects of life.
Written by Jenna Baker