Product Feature: Critical Debates

Packback is passionate about building a platform that inspires students to become curious about course material and encourages an academic debate between classmates. With Packback’s Critical Debates feature, learners can now reply directly to Responses with a Counter Point or Supporting Point. This new feature makes it possible for the entire class to engage in critical discussions that better mirror a live debate.

How Critical Debates Work

On any Response, community members have the option to leave either a Counter Point or a Supporting Point.

Counter Points are used to help constructively disagree with the original response. When using this feature, students are coached to make a contradictory argument, summarize it into a thesis and cite a source.

Supporting Points are used to help add additional supporting context or information to the original response. When using this feature, students are coached to make a supporting argument, summarize it into a thesis and cite a source.

How This Feature Affects Grading

To keep grading simple, Counter and Supporting Points are a type of Response and therefore count toward a student’s Responses on the grading report.

The Packback Product and Engineering teams were very intentional about creating a feature that enabled deeper discussion without complicating grading or posting requirements for students or instructors.

To see how many Counter or Supporting Points a learner has written, click on their name to access their community-level profile and see a breakdown of the types of responses.

See It In Action

To start using the new Critical Debates feature on Packback, log into a class community and click on the “Add Response” button on any Response to see the options to add either a Counter or Supporting Point.


Want to see a live Packback community and learn how you can increase student engagement and critical thinking in your course?