Project Isaac: Writing Studio Intervention for Covid-19

During the nationwide lockdown (March-April 2020), we engaged the IITGN students using two interventions. First was a daily review writing contest, second was a daily quiz and raffle. The objective was to stimulate meaningful engagement with the institute, encourage reading, and to keep the students’ spirit high during the trying times of social isolation.

Quarantine Reviews

This initiative consisted of a Facebook group where students were encouraged to post a review every day of a movie, TV show or book, or some other medium that they were interested in. The most popular and best of those posts were then given a daily prize. Daily engagement ranged from 5-15 posts per day, with a rolling set of 20 students making most of the posts. The initiative involved watching a TV show episode/ movie/ documentary/ web series that students loved and writing a 300- 500-word review of it. Prizes worth Rs. 100 were given to two winners each day and a weekly prize awarded by the Writing Studio to the reviewer with the greatest social media engagement on Facebook.

Write for Corona

It was a daily raffle that consisted of a google form, with a short, easy quiz. Students were asked to fill it out, and 1 out of every 10 entries was randomly chosen to be the winner. A cash prize of Rs.200 per day was awarded to the winners. An online challenge in the form of a quiz based on current affair themes, a poetry writing or reading challenge was presented each day and everyone that participated entered a raffle with one another.

The challenge was an awareness-driven and socially charged initiative which made students more cautious of the excess, irrelevant and false information abundantly available on the internet. It urged them to cut through the crud, and to be more selective about what is factually credible to read, believe, share, and spread. Simultaneously, it also opened up the opportunity to practice how they communicate delicate information accurately, fairly, and in an accessible manner.