Introduction to Packback for TAs

What is Packback?

Packback is an AI-supported online discussion platform designed to improve student curiosity, communication skills, and critical thinking. We deliver an easy-to-use and engaging discussion experience with powerful support from automated moderation, sorting, and scoring algorithms. 

At its heart, Packback exists to guide students towards richer and more engaging discussions. Rather than allow them to ask questions that could easily be answered in a textbook or through a quick Google search, our “Digital TA” AI and our team of moderators provide instant feedback meant to enhance the quality of student posts. Packback places students in the driver's seat, prompting them to ask questions, engage with their classmates, and take their fearless curiosity to new heights. 

Why is your instructor using Packback?

Your instructor chose to use Packback because they see the value in student's inquiry-driven discussion, and want to cultivate an autonomous and motivating classroom culture.

With other online discussion platforms, the instructor typically posts a required discussion prompt or question to the community, and the students respond to the prompt. But with Packback, students post their own open-ended questions as the discussion prompts. By doing so, they feel more motivated to engage with the course content and start taking charge of their individual learning. 

How can you make the most of your Packback experience?

Your instructor is looking to you as a resource to guide your students to the next level of learning on Packback and help provide the final layer of discussion management, on top of what Packback’s “Digital TA” AI and the Packback Moderator Team provides. 

This is your opportunity to step into an instructor’s shoes! As a TA, you will provide custom guided feedback to students, help highlight on high-quality discussions that occur in your community. Your instructor may tap you on to handle grading and other community management tasks. Packback provides you with the tools needed to provide guidance, engage closely with students, and shape their learning experience that spans beyond the classroom.

If you’re ever unsure which Packback tools to use or need your role expectations clarified, always defer to your instructor for help!

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