Setting Up and Managing Your Deep Dives Assignments

With Deep Dives, you are in full control of the prompts and grading criteria you’d like your students to follow! Our Setup Wizard was designed to make building your Deep Dives assignment seamless and user-friendly. Follow along with each of the sections in this article to see how you can set up and customize Deep Dives for your course!

To start, you’re able to access your Deep Dives assignments right from your Curiosity Feed in your Packback course.

Navigating to your Deep Dives Assignments

  1. Access your course on Packback. On the left hand sidebar navigation, scroll and click Assignments under the “Packback Deep Dives” heading.
  2. Here is where you are able to view Current Assignments, and Upcoming Assignments (scheduled), Past Assignments (deadline has passed).
  3. To begin building a new Deep Dive assignment, click the red Create New Assignment button.

Create a New Assignment

Step 1: Create a Prompt

To start a brand new prompt, click “Create New Prompt.” You’ll be taken to our landing page where you’ll be able to follow the instructions below to create your prompt.

If you’d like to use one that you’ve already created and saved, click “Select a Saved Prompt.” On the next page, search for the prompt you’d like to use for this assignment and click Select next to it.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Creating a New Prompt

  1. Click Create a New Prompt and you’ll be able to fill in the following required fields:
    • Prompt title: Pose a topic or question that you’d like your student to explore
    • Short Description Add a short and engaging description of the purpose of the assignment.
    • Long Description: State your learning goals for the assignment, elaborate on the short description, include additional instructions
  2. You add optional Guiding Questions to your assignment as well! These are specific discussion points that you would like your students to touch upon as they write their Deep Dives assignment. 
    • Our A.I. Grading Assistant will attempt to “Smart Highlight” the students’ submissions to show where each student may have answered the Guiding Questions.
  3. You can also add optional Recommend Resources! These are the supplemental resources that will give your students for the assignment. Select the Type of resource from the drop down menu and then enter a URL, DOI, or ISBN
    • Make sure to click Verify and add a resource for each new one you’d like to add. You’ll be taken to our Verify Source pop up screen.
  4. If you’d like to save this prompt for later use, check the box under Prompt Settings.
  5. Once you feel good about the prompt, simply click Save & Use to continue onward!

Step 2: Add a Smart Rubric

To start a brand new rubric, click “Create New Rubric.” You’ll be taken to our landing page where you’ll be able to follow the instructions below to create your rubric. 

If you’d like to use one that you’ve already created and saved, click “Select a Saved Rubric.”

  1. Before you begin, let's set a Rubric Title. Write whatever you'd like to call it! This is particularly important if you plan to save and reuse your rubric.
  2. Requirements: AI-assisted or AI-graded rubric components for practical elements. Check the box next to the components you wish to include in your rubric, and uncheck the box of any you do not want our A.I. Grading Assistant to grade. Enter a Point Value in the field on the right for each requirement you’ll be including.
    1. Word Count & Depth: Our system is able to check for both a minimum and an optional maximum word count. 
      1. Click Show Options to enter a word count value. You’ll also have the option to either Allow or Block submissions that don’t meet that value.
    2. Grammar & Mechanics: The AI Grading Assistant will check the density of grammatical errors in the submission, use of active voice, consistent tense and voice, and appropriate use of hedge words.
    3. Flow & Structure: The AI Grading Assistant will check the submissions’ overall coherence, check how well each sentence flows to the next, check for appropriate paragraph length.
    4. Research & Citations: The AI Grading Assistant will give you insights about the credibility of the students’ sources, and the relevance of the sources to the submission text.
      • Click Show Options to enter in a required number of sources you’d like students to include for this assignment.
    5. Formatting: The A.I. Grading Assistant will check the accuracy of citation formatting, reference page formatting, and document formatting based on the formatting standard you select.
      • Click Show Options to select the formatting standard you’d like for students to follow (i.e. MLA, APA)
  1. Instructor-Graded Rubric Criteria: This is a manual instructor-graded and instructor-guided portion of the rubric. You will be able to fully customize this portion of your rubric to align with the subject matter-specific components of your assignment. If you do not plan to use this portion of the rubric, go ahead and uncheck the box next to “Criterion 1 Title.”
    1. To start: At the top, enter a Criterion 1 Title. This title should summarize the content and ideas you will, personally, be awarding points for based on the subject matter-specific components of your assignment.
    2. Enter a title for each Performance Level. These have already been populated for you, but you are able to customize them however you would like.
    3. Enter the number of Points a student will receive for achieving that performance level.
    4. Write a brief Description! What should that Performance Level be able to accomplish? What components are you looking out for while you are grading a Deep Dive assignment?
    5. If you would like to add more levels to this criterion, click + Add performance level below.
    6. OPTIONAL: You are able to make your rubric even more customizable by adding up to 8 Criteria! For each one, click Add Criterion and repeat the process from the previous few bullet points. 
  2. Rubric Preview: On the right, review and finalize your rubric. If you’d like to save this rubric for a later time or if you’d like to use it again for future assignments, check the box where prompted.
  3. Once you’ve completed creating and reviewing your rubric, click Save & Use!

Step 3: Choose Assignees

By default, the course where you clicked to “Add a new assignment” will already be populated to assign the Deep Dive to!

But, you are able to assign the same Deep Dives assignment to multiple Packback courses at the same, if you choose. Select at least one in the Choose a Course drop down menu and then click Assign to a course. Repeat this step for each course.

Step 4: Set Assignment Dates

Here is where you’ll set when you’d like your Deep Dives assignment to go live and choose a deadline for it. 

  1. Select Immediate if you’d like to publish your assignment after setup completion. But if you’d like to schedule a day for it to go live, click On a specific date and time. You’ll be prompted to enter the day, the time, and the appropriate time zone.
  2. Under Choose a deadline, choose the day, time, and time zone by which you’d like your students to complete their Deep Dives assignment. Deep Dive assignment deadlines are completely independent of any deadlines you’ve already configured for Packback Questions.

Once you’ve completed all sections for setting up your Deep Dives assignment, click Publish Assignment

Setting Up Deadline Extensions for Individual Students

If you have one or multiple students who need a deadline extension, you have the ability to reopen an assignment on an individual basis and allow them to complete it by a designated date and time. 

  1. At the top of your main Deep Dives Feed, click Manage Assignments. This will take you to the same assignment breakdown as seen in previous sections of this article.
  2. Find the assignment for which you would like to give a student an extension and click the mceclip0 (3).png icon. 
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and find the section Due Date Extensions. Here is where the magic happens! Click +Add New Extension to begin.
  4. For each student, you will need to enter the following information:
    • Student's Name or Email 
    • Assignment Due Date:
    • Assignment Due Time
  5. To repeat the process for another student, simply click + Add new Extension and enter in the information.
  6. To Remove or Delete an Extension for a student: Click the "X" next to the information you have inputted for that student.
  7. Click Update Assignment when you are done. The assignment will now be reopened for the students listed!

dd extensions.png

Have questions?

If you need technical assistance or have questions about the functionality of your Deep Dives assignment, please reach out to our Support Team at

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