Virtual Game Shows as Student Engagement Tools Using Your Instagram Live Account

At the University of Southern Indiana, the school’s Student Affairs Department has been conducting a weekly 4@4 virtual student game show where program coordinator Nathan Payne goes on Instagram every Wednesday at 4 p.m. Eastern and picks four student players to answer questions and carry-out unusual tasks, live, to win prizes.Instagram image 

“For marketing purposes, we decided that 4@4 would be a good idea of something that is easy to remember. It stemmed from having a lot of prize giveaways for our Springfest, but the event did not happen,” he said. “Think of this event as Price is Right meets Minute to Win It.”

Questions might range from "What is Archie (the school mascot) doing right now?" to "What has been your favorite socially distant hobby?" The funniest or best answers received through the livestream are then pinned and those respondents are then asked to go live as 4@4 contestants. 

As host, Payne keeps four envelopes taped on a wall behind him, each one containing a unique challenge. “The challenges are something we just kind of come up with that week and should be something a student can do from home and complete within the allotted time,” he said. “I also try to play into things that are going on. We’ve had things related to National Streaming Day, a Netflix Challenge, ESPN Challenge, and a Naming Challenge.” 

The virtual team has also partnered with different offices who provide special guests. The school’s dean of students was a recent guest who completed a challenge and then took some time to discuss initiatives the office had underway. Students also are given an opportunity to promote their own organizations or anything they are looking forward to at the school. A focus has also been placed on reaching out to incoming students as a means of keeping them excited about coming to campus, virtually or otherwise. “Anything to get this incoming class excited after what the end of their high school career looked like, is what we found is a good model to move forward with,” Payne said.  

After a student completes a challenge they are asked to direct message the engagement team’s account, which keeps the show moving. After the livestream is done, the team contacts the student via email to get all the necessary information for them to receive their prize package. “Right now it looks like we will be going back to campus in the fall, so I will have the packs available for pick-up, which includes a shirt and two of our office promotional items,” Payne said. 

So here’s the show’s simple format:
Go Live > Ask a basic question to students where they can comment on the stream > Pick one comment and go live with that individual > They pick their numbered challenge > Complete it on live stream video and direct message the team > Start the process over with a new question. 
You can view an entire episode of the show, which runs about 12 minutes, here

Below are some examples of challenges that have been successful: 

  • Space Jam Challenge
    Name four looney toon characters that competed on the Tune Squad team

  • Netflix Challenge
    Name 5 Netflix Originals, not named Tiger King or Stranger Things 

  • Active Challenge
    Make a paper basketball and make it into the closest trash can 

  • Disney Challenge
    Recreate the famous opening scene from the Lion King using any object  

  • Favorite Color Challenge
    The contestant is asked to collect five items from around their house of their favorite color and show them 

  • Song Challenge
    Any type of fill in the lyrics or hum/sing/etc. with your favorite song using no words and the audience has to guess 

Others students are also encouraged to comment during the contest and help out the contestants with tips like humming a song to help with guesses or name characters from a movie that might be the topic of a challenge.

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