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Go Digital

The Resident Engagement Platform

Digital resources and program ideas for "Remote RAs"

Activities for students and residence life staff, while maintaining "social distancing" to sustain a community

Launched on March 16 2020.
Last updated: January 11 2023 10:45 pm CST

Blog Post • 20-July-2020
Resident Engagement: In a Digital World

Suggestions to enhance resident engagement while in a physical-distancing & digital world

  1. Host a program over a video conference call, just like a webinar (they happen every day in the corporate world).
  2. Host a digital program over a video livestream, call it a "Coffee Talk about ________" - fill in the blank, such as
    • mental health,
    • what does happiness mean to you?,
    • pet meet & greet,
    • how to interview using a video call,
    • what are you grateful for...,
    • etc.
  3. Digital hall council, such as RHA, elections through online voting (aka a survey)
  4. Video / live-stream study groups
  5. Host a video game tournament
  6. Record and/or stream health and fitness (such as workout classes and/or yoga)
  7. Online trivia competition, similar to the triva tournaments at a restaurant
  8. Video lip-singing competition, record the video and post online
  9. Video stream "room-cribs," have students take turns showing of their room!
  10. Record and/or stream Poetry Reading
  11. Webinar about Stress Management
  12. Webinar about Mediation
  13. Webinar about Emotional Intelligence
  14. Webinar about study tips while taking online classes
  15. Webinar about being cautious of online and telephone scams
  16. Webinar about empathy in a global society
  17. Webinar about Maslow's hierarchy of needs
  18. Webinar about Black History Month (February)
    1. Center Racial Justice
  19. Webinar about Women's History Month (March)
  20. Webinar about Adult / Life skills
  21. Webinar about "Social distancing doesn't mean emotional distancing"
  22. Webinar about Hygiene and / or High-Touch Surfaces to disinfect daily (such as: doorknobs, table surfaces, dining chairs, kitchen counters, bathroom counters, faucets / faucet knobs, toilet seats/handles, light switches, tv remote control, game controlers, etc.)
  23. Door decorating contest
  24. Photo Challenge / Instagram challenge, (also take a look at our ResLife Engage Instagram photo challenge)
  25. Instagram Talent Show
  26. Crafting tutorials live stream / video recording
  27. Digital treasure hunt (similar to Let's Make a Deal "quickie deal" style)
  28. Meme (image) scavenger hunt
  29. Campus Resources scavenger hunt (have students browser your college/university webpages to find information)
  30. Digital "meet-ups" for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner (just like a floor dinner)
  31. Digital scrabble competition
  32. "Favorite campus traditions" March-Madness bracket style, have students vote on each pairing to advance in the bracket
  33. Book club, and discuss the book over a conference phone call (if you don't have access to a tangible book, try using eBooks)
  34. Digital Pen-Pals
  35. Online journaling session, have RAs send out a prompt/topic (perhaps a "happiness" or "gratitude" journal)
  36. "Quarantine Little Theater" - either record or livestream, each person acts out a different character of a script
  37. Digital museum tours
    1. Travel and Leisure - Virutal Tour of Ireland
    2. Travel and Leisure - Virtual Museums
    3. Google Arts and Culture:
    4. Louvre
    5. National Gallery of Art:
    6. Ellis Island:
    7. Condé Nast - Museum Exhibits, Symphonies, and Operas:
  38. Digital tour of:
    1. San Diego Zoo:
    2. National Mall Cherry Trees blooming:
    3. Smithsonian's National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute:
    4. Yellowstone National Park
    5. Mammoth Hot Springs
    6. Monterey Bay Aquarium
    7. Mars:
  39. Digital streams of performances:
    1. The Metropolitan Opera:
    2. Broadway plays:
  40. Cirque du Soleil:
  41. Ride a roller coaster from the point of view of the front seat:
  42. Share your hand washing song video competition
  43. Music dance party through video live stream
  44. "Masked Singer" competition through video live stream
  45. Crossword puzzles competition video live stream
  46. Sudoku challenge video live stream (or even try sudoku tetris)
  47. Charades game video live stream
  48. Pictionary game video live stream
  49. Speed draw competitions video live stream
  50. 21 questions game video live stream
  51. Bingo video live stream
  52. Puppet show video live stream (use socks for the puppets, the crazier the sock the better!)
  53. Song-in-the-round (aka "Zoom-Looping"), one person makes a noise and each person builds upon the song
  54. Rube Goldberg Challenge
  55. Online Playing Cards games:
  56. Social Distancing & Isolation advice from Astronauts
    1. Forbes: Former Astronauts Share Ways To Cope With Social Distancing & Isolation
    2. New York Times: I Spent a Year in Space, and I Have Tips on Isolation to Share
  57. Learn how to draw:
    1. Disney Parks - Mickey Mouse 1920s style
    2. Disney Parks - Mickey Mouse Contemporary style
    3. Walt Disney Animation - Olaf (Frozen)
  58. HD Webcams of Animals, Beaches, Resorts, Scenic, and more:
  59. Smithsonian's National Zoo's Panda Cams
  60. The Old Globe (San Diego) - Online Theatre Programs
  61. Citizen science projects connect you to people studying our world in the hopes of making it better:
    1. Tracking giraffes and other wildlife to help conservationists in northern Kenya
    2. Finding kelp forests from space
    3. Editing and verifying built structures for the USGS' National Map
  62. Virtual Volunteer:
    1. American Red Cross: Be A Digital Advocate
    2. United Nations (UN) Online Volunteering
  63. "NASA At Home" educational content:
  64. Social distancing doesn't mean we can't get to know about each other... 36 odd things about me (example list):
    1. Do you put ketchup on hot dogs?
    2. Choice of soda (or "pop")?
    3. Chocolate or vanilla?
    4. Can you swim?
    5. Hot dogs or cheeseburgers?
    6. Favorite type of food?
    7. Do you believe in ghosts?
    8. What do you drink in the morning?
    9. Can you do 100 push ups?
    10. Favorite time of year?
    11. Your favorite hobby?
    12. Tattoos?
    13. Do you wear glasses?
    14. Do you have a phobia?
    15. Do you have a nick name?
    16. What do you do when stressed?
    17. Rain or snow?
    18. Can you change a tire?
    19. Favorite flower?
    20. Can you drive a stick-shift vehicle?
    21. Ever gone skydiving?
    22. How many Siblings do you have?
    23. Favorite color?
    24. Dream career?
    25. Can you whistle?
    26. Favorite vacation?
    27. Best friends?
    28. Favorite ice cream?
    29. Shower or bath?
    30. Broken bones?
    31. How many TVs are in your house?
    32. Worst pain?
    33. Do you like to sing?
    34. Favorite way to exercise?
    35. What do you enjoy binge watching?
    36. Favorite dessert?
  65. Turn the above list into a digital "talk show" between the residence life staff and their residents
  66. Origami lessons - learn how to make paper origami designs
  67. Making cloth face coverings from old t-shirts
  68. Face mask / face covering decorating contest
  69. Encourage students to start a quarantine journal
  70. Coping with Quarantine Fatigue: CDC recommendations on Stress and Coping:
    • "How are you really?" challenge to destigmatize mental health and coping with the stress of the pandemic
  71. - additional resources to take care of yourself and others, while doing our part by keeping our distance and staying home. Powered by ViacomCBS & Ad Council.
  72. What 3 Words - 1 word to describe your past, 1 word to describe your present, 1 word to describe your future
  73. 10 day Favorite Campus Memory photo challenge
  74. WildEarth Virtual Safaris
  75. Drive-in style movie screening (project a movie outside and have designated areas for people to watch the movie while physical distancing; make sure you have the appropriate permission/rights to screen the movie)
  76. Cooking classes - Museum of Food and Drink, NY:
  77. Adopt a local grade school class and provide digital/virtual tutoring assistance
  78. Virtual Ice Breakers:
    1. Where the Wind Blows: Participants turn their cameras on or off depending on the statement.
    2. Guess That Movie: Participants have to guess what the movie, tv, or book is based on a few emojis.
    3. Cartoon Caricature Sketch Game: Pick someone on the team and everyone has to draw that person in 30 seconds. The person will then choose their favorite and can also choose the worst, funniest, most beautiful, etc. Then you choose someone different and repeat.
    4. LinkedTogether: one person starts by saying three facts about themselves. All the other participants must listen and if they share the same last fact given then they virtually raise their hand. It is now their turn and they state their three facts. This process continues until everyone goes. If after three facts no one has it in common have the participant continue to list facts until someone does have something in common.
    5. Letter-o-rama: Using a random letter generator (such as ). Participants have one minute to grab something in their room that starts with the letter that was generated. The whole group votes on who had the most unique object. The first person to get the most vote 5 times wins the round.
    6. Map Sketch: Give participants 2 minutes to sketch a map of campus on a piece of paper. After 2 minutes, ask them each to take a turn to have 1 minute to do a show & tell of their map sketch.
    7. Guess that Tune - play ~10 seconds of a song and ask to write down song title, then repeat a few times.
    8. One Good Thing - ask each person to state "one good thing"
  79. If including questions in your program / session, enter names of those who participate and engage by attempting to answer a question enter their name into a raffle
  80. Name that movie - describe your favorite movie as boring as possible, then see if others can guess (in a similar fashion to Charades)
  81. Postcards from 2020/2021 - ask students to design & express themselves about how they're feeling as a postcard design
  82. Start a conversation with the simple question: How is your brain today?
  83. Guinness World Records - At-Home Weekly record challenge
  84. Watch the CBS Sunday Night Movie as a group from each of your locations:
    1. October 4 2020: OLD SCHOOL — 9:30-11:30 PM, ET/9-11 PM, PT
    2. October 11 2020: CLUELESS — 9:30-11:30 PM, ET/9-11 PM, PT
    3. October 18 2020: FERRIS BUELLER'S DAY OFF — 8-10:30 PM, ET/PT
    4. October 25 2020: SCREAM — 8:30-11 PM, ET/8-10:30 PM, ET/PT
    5. November 1 2020: STAR TREK BEYOND — 8-11:00 PM, ET/PT
    6. November 29 2020: COMING TO AMERICA — 8:30-11 PM, ET/8-10:30 PM, PT
  85. Virtual Halloween:
    1. Costume contest
    2. Dance Party
    3. Scavenger Hunt - for halloween related items around your room
    4. Movie Trivia
    5. Ghost Stories
    6. Pumpkin Carving / Decorating
    7. Make-up How-To Demo
    8. Persona Game - each person has to act out one of the following: footless horseman, Spider lost in their web, Vegetarian zombie, Not-so-great pumpkin, Homeowner who forgot to buy candy, partygoer who can't decide on a costume, Ghost afraid of humans, Scarecrow searching for new career, Overheated mummy, Witch under their own spell
    9. Scary Story - each person takes a turn adding a phrase to a scary story
  86. Virtual St. Patrick's Day (yes, since we started this idea list in March 2020):
    1. Who wears the most green photo competition
    2. Travel and Leisure - Virutal Tour of Ireland
  87. Easter Sunday - Andrea Bocelli, the superstar tenor, will live stream a concert from Milan's famed Duomo cathedral on YouTube channel Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern:
  88. Earth Day 2020 is Wednesday, April 22. use some of the suggestions above to help with climate & wildlife
  89. Levar Burton (from PBS Reading Rainbow):
  90. Verizon's weekly series 'Pay It Forward Live' kicks off to support small businesses affected by COVID-19:
  91. Host a digital watch-party for the "One World: Together At Home - Global Citizen" on Saturday, April 18, 2020

Have another idea? Send it to us to add to the list

We'll keep updating this list as ideas come in, so check back.

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