Overview: In Summer 2020, EDLI worked with MSU IT to rapidly scale up campus deployment of an AI-powered discussion tool, Packback.
Outcomes: EDLI worked with MSU IT to identify a common problem in online teaching – the difficulty very large courses had in using discussion boards in a meaningful way. EDLI identified Packback as a tool that could address this problem, and that was already in use in a handful of classes on campus. Working with MSU IT, EDLI facilitated a series of meetings with Packback, ultimately leading to MSU IT funding an enterprise license for the tool. This was the first time in Packback’s history that an entire campus adopted the tool, and it was their first enterprise license. In its first campus-wide semester, over 11,000 students used the tool. At $25 per student, per semester, in the first year alone MSU students saved over $500,000. In the years since, use of the tool has grown steadily, and savings for students have done the same.
Future plans: EDLI continues to broker a healthy relationship between Packback and MSU IT, and the tool is widely used on campus for a variety of different instructional needs.
- Van Hof, J. (2022, June 6). Everything Old is New Again: Rethinking the Socratic Method for the 21st Century. Faculty Focus. https://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/philosophy-of-teaching/everything-old-is-new-again-rethinking-the-socratic-method-for-the-21st-century/
- Feldstein, A., Van Hof, J., Zaloudek, J. (2022, April 3). Creating Community Without the Classroom: Lessons from Online Learning Leaders [Conference Presentation]. Higher Learning Commission 2022 Annual Conference, Chicago, IL, United States. https://www.eventscribe.net/2022/HLCac/agenda.asp?startdate=4/3/2022&enddate=4/3/2022&BCFO=G|GB|GH|GHV|GK|GL|GN|GS|GV|VC&pfp=FullSchedule&mode=&fa=&fb=&fc=&fd=
- Fein, A., & Van Hof, J. (2022, March 29). Reclaiming Your Time: Taking Back Your Most Vital Resource [Webinar]. Packback, Inc. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Geyy5VZ4dUM
Author/Personnel: Jeremy Van Hof, Stephen Thomas, Scott Schopieray