Year: 2021

STEP_UP releases 5 thematic reports on COVID-19 measures

Potential measures to stop the spreading of the COVID-19 virus have been explored and categorized by the STEP_UP consortium. The results have been published in five partner reports: measures for early detection, prevention, healthcare and social care, and policy making. The fifth report consists of recommendations on communication. The reports are available on the STEP_UP website.   Each STEP_UP partner covered a different domain suitable for the target groups of the project and investigated measures that can be taken within to reduce the impact of a pandemic on health and society: AFEdemy from the Netherlands dealt with early detection measures, while SHINE from Portugal focused on prevention measures. ISIS from Germany worked on policy measures, CIPH from Croatia on healthcare and social care measures and WISE from Spain on communication recommendations.   In addition to identified measures, the thematic reports also describe possible challenges in a pandemic and provide recommendations based on already known good practices. In the further course of the project, all the information collected in the various reports will be compiled into a compendium for adult learners and informal educational agents and new contents added as the pandemic situation evolves.  The overall goal of the STEP_UP project is to create an interactive training tool to identify possible responses to pandemic outbreaks and to assess their impact on society and the spread of disease. STEP_UP means “Stop Epidemic Growth Through Learning”. The target groups of the project include community leaders, informal caregivers and volunteers, social support professionals to transfer the knowledge to where it can be applied. In addition to the mentioned manual, this is also done in the form of an interactive gaming tool and workshops.  You can find the reports here….Continue Reading STEP_UP releases 5 thematic reports on COVID-19 measures

STEP_UP scenarios for politician well received by stakeholders

Almost one year ago, the STEP_UP game project started (Stop epidemic growth through learning, Erasmus+ KA2 Action, 2020-2023). Coordinator is SHINE 2Europe and as partner AFEdemy is responsible for the production of the Manual on social and policy interventions. The project team will develop an online serious game in which the learner can follow a chronological path from early detection to exit strategies from pandemics. The learner can also choose between playing different roles in the game: to step in the shoes of a prime minister, volunteer, nurse in a long term care institution, manager of a primary care organisation or being an epidemiological or public health expert. AFEdemy developed the scenario of Mrs. Britta Johnson. Vice prime minister and minister of Health on a fictive island who is confronted with the detection of a strange virus in Europe. Because the prime minister is absent for a longer period, she needs to take the decision to isolate the island and to take measures regarding the population and visitors of the island. AFEdemy discussed the scenarios with a (former) politician and several policy officers from municipalities and ministries. All experts found the scenarios really good and added some comments to improve the scenarios. The most important lesson AFEdemy learned is that it is very important to have a dedicated team of experts around you and to focus on the communication. Communication must be transparent and providing true realistic messages to the public and avoid fake news. The main target group of the game is social and health workers, volunteers and supporting workers at municipalities….Continue Reading STEP_UP scenarios for politician well received by stakeholders

Croatia workshops with Public Health and epidemiologists

For the purposes of the development of the STEP_UP game and characters, CIPH is creating a character and scenes in the field of public health. The goal was to identify stakeholders within this sector and bring their expertise and real life experience together through a constructive workshop. During the workshop the character was presented along with potential scenes and feedback was gained through exercises evaluating the character, scenes, impacts on the spread of the disease and the impacts on society. Gaining knowledge and feedback from relevant stakeholders was of great benefit to development of the game. CIPH character in the STEP_UP game is a public health professional/epidemiologist. Our online workshops were held at the end of July and we chose to hold a group workshop so as to create an atmosphere that would allow for different points of view and ideas to be shared and allow for critical feedback from a variety of experts who have been frontline workers during the pandemic. Aids such as Google Jamboard were used to make the workshop as interactive as possible online. All participants, four in total were employed as physicians at public health institutes both at the national and local level. All participants were very enthusiastic about participating and contributing to the development of the educational game being developed by the STEP_UP team. Participants were productive with feedback and engaged throughout the duration of the workshop. Many useful insights were gained as well as suggestions for what improvements and could be made to help improve the understanding and level of complexity of the game regarding the public health sector. Points which we were told to keep in mind while finalising our scenes and characters were to keep in mind the dynamics of the pandemic that will greatly influence what measures are in place and what impacts they will have on societies and individuals….Continue Reading Croatia workshops with Public Health and epidemiologists

Interviews to health care managers help design the characters

In the frame of the activities related to the educational game development, WISE ANGLE has been tasked with consulting key stakeholders so as to feed the participatory co-creation process aimed at designing the characters, the real-life situations they will face in the playing scenarios and the measures they will have to put in place to help stop the virus pandemic and contain its impacts. In particular, the character that WISE ANGLE designed and presented is a healthcare manager, namely the director of a primary care center. Due to the continued limitations to travels and the impossibility to identify a suitable date for all the participants, WISE ANGLE has elicited individual online interviews as consultation method. All the interviewees are healthcare professionals and health research experts from three countries (Italy, Spain and Portugal). The interviews were insightful and provided useful hints for the refinement of the character and the measures as well as the design of the game in general. All participants were acquainted with the potential benefits of gamification techniques in learning processes and confident that STEP_UP will deliver a highly useful tool for training professionals and volunteers in the health and social care sector as well as a playful way for citizens to learn. Some of the most relevant observations were related to the use of more personal narratives to describe the challenges the character is facing in her daily life and work duties and generate empathy in the player. The interviewees also made concrete examples of situations and events the character shall be confronted with and suggested several “mini-games” to be embedded in the game flow….Continue Reading Interviews to health care managers help design the characters

ISIS interviews volunteer groups to advise on the game design

The workshops that were held in the partner countries Portugal, the Netherlands, Croatia, Spain and Germany with various actors who were active in the COVID-19 pandemic serve as a basis for the elaboration of realistic challenges that players should overcome to contain a pandemic in the STEP_UP game. On the 29th of July ISIS Social Research concluded the talks with representatives of the German neighbourhood assistance groups from Frankfurt-Nordend, Hanau-Kesselstadt, Groß-Auheim and Hainstadt. We thank them for their insights into good and bad experiences during the pandemic, which will certainly enrich our game scenes. For more information about the project and the game, please visit our project website:…Continue Reading ISIS interviews volunteer groups to advise on the game design

Consortium that promises to teach how to deal with a pandemic met in the Netherlands

The partners of the STEP_UP | Stop Epidemic Growth Through Learning project met on September 1 and 2, in the second transnational meeting of the project. The session took place in hybrid format, with some partners meeting in person in Gouda, in the Netherlands, and the others meeting online. STEP_UP is a European project, funded by the European Union program, Erasmus+, and is being developed by a consortium of several European partners. It has SHINE 2Europe as coordinator and AFEdemy from the Netherlands, ISIS from Germany, Wise Angle from Spain and CIPH from Croatia as partners. During the meeting days in Gouda, it was discussed how the educational game platform will be built, which is intended to be a training tool for the social sector and community stakeholders on the best ways to prevent and deal with pandemic situations. The game scenes and their formats were also reviewed, based on previous research carried out by the project partners. In the game there will be a different perspective of action for different characters such as policy makers, volunteers, third sector employees, and healthcare professionals. The game resulting from the STEP_UP project intends to present several scenes similar to those that happened in the real process of the pandemic recession. The player will be asked to choose between more correct and less correct actions, so that through the game he will be able to learn behaviors that in real life would help to fight a pandemic, such as how to distinguish between fake and true news or how to better understand government measures. The game platform is intended for professionals in the social sector but can also be used by any citizen and will be an important tool in adult education….Continue Reading Consortium that promises to teach how to deal with a pandemic met in the Netherlands

Interview with project coordinator SHINE 2Europe and the Croatian Institute of Public Health

Project coordinator: Carina Dantas and Luis Dias from SHINE 2Europe Q: Why did you initiate the STEP_UP project? This is actually a family story! I was doing the “fitness walk” with my son Daniel during the confinement period and we were talking about how contradictory information was on the best measures to implement due to the pandemic. And my son said that maybe we should do a game that explained that – there were games where we aim at disseminating a plague or a virus, so why didn’t we did the same but in an educational manner, showing people how to contain the virus instead? At SHINE, we liked this idea and STEP_UP was born 😊 So, although the proposal was the result of the collaborative work of all of the partners, in fact, in what concerns the concept, it is my son’s “baby”. We are proud! Q: What did you like most thus far in the project? Why? We have been bombarded with COVID19 related information for the last two years. However, being able to discuss the pandemic and its related measures towards the development of educational materials is a very positive way to use of all this information overload. And the discussions we have been having with the partners from four other countries, as well as the local, national and international experts and stakeholders have been so enriching! It really gives us a different overview to understand all of the differences in viewpoints, cultures and policy decisions. And the project members are the best! Q: What is the most important thing you learned or take away from the project for you thus far? Why? The pandemic made us understand that so many things are not black or white. During this period it was difficult to know what were the best decisions to take, what would be the impacts, even what was right or wrong – we still discuss worldwide if we need masks or not. But even more, this has also made us realise how fragile we are. We are still vulnerable, both as the human species, as well as in terms of our societal organisation. We can improve so much, especially in contributing to common good. This is a lesson we still need to learn. Q: What are the next steps you will work on in the project? We will continue working for the Manual, but our main challenge is for sure to develop the game! We are doing well in finishing up the characters and scenes, but I am very excited to finally start seeing the game in place. It is a challenge, but a good one! Partner Croatian Institute of Public Health, Ana Istvanovic, Anja Belavic, Bojana Raickovic Q: Why did you join the STEP_UP project? Some of the main goals of public health are to prevent diseases and promote health in order to prolong and improve lives of both individuals and the population. To make informed choices people need to have easy access to accurate information in order to make a valid decision which will suit them and their society the best. Since the pandemic started there has been a lot of different information, some of which can instil fear and be misleading. This new interactive way of learning and sharing knowledge should be effective and hopefully will reach wide range of users and help them to better understand that different decisions can have different impacts depending on the standpoint. Q: What did you like most thus far in the project? Why? Brain storming with experts from different countries and fields has been one of my favourite aspects of this project by now. It’s very interesting to see how effective problem solving in a group, with different points of view, actually is and how the results can sometimes be mind boggling. Q: What is the most important thing you learned or take away from the project for you thus far? Why? Almost every decision made by stakeholders, be it politicians, public health experts or the public can be right or wrong depending on the angle you are looking at it. I believe that this is very important to understand so that this new situation, in which we are all still learning and adjusting, can be accepted easier. Q: What are the next steps you will work on in the project? The next step in a project will be to help create The social and policy interventions manual from the thematic reports written by each participating institution and of course to co-create scenes, tasks and other aspects of the game….Continue Reading Interview with project coordinator SHINE 2Europe and the Croatian Institute of Public Health

Nurses and caregivers support SHINE 2Europe in the STEP_UP game development

During the month of July, SHINE 2Europe consulted nurses and formal caregivers to devise scenes of a game that will teach how to fight a pandemic. Participants were brought together in two workshops and, with the help of a SHINE facilitator, made their contributions to the STEP_UP project | Stop Epidemic Growth Through Learning. This project aims to develop a training tool for the social sector and community stakeholders, teaching the best ways to prevent and deal with pandemic situations, through an educational game. In recent years, gamification has been shown to improve learning skills, particularly for young people and people with low qualifications. The game will be aimed at professionals in the social sector, but it can also be used by any citizen and will be an important tool in adult education. The nurses and formal caregivers were presented with several game scenes that they highlightes because they were similar to their real experiences fighting the pandemic for the last year and a half. Measures range from the closure of Residential Structures for older adults to external visitors, user testing every week or the latest vaccination campaigns. As solutions, it is proposed to the player to choose between right and wrong actions, creation of campaigns to raise materials to promote virtual visits of users or even the acquisition of vaccines and starting of the vaccination process in the game. The aim of these mini-games is for the public to understand how they can distinguish fake news from true information, also helping to understand the importance of government measures. STEP_UP is a European Erasmus+ project coordinated by SHINE 2Europe and constituted by AFEdemy from the Netherlands, ISIS from Germany, Wise Angle from Spain and CIPH from Croatia. SHINE 2Europe is a Portuguese SME from the Centro region, which aims to promote inclusive communities for all citizens, through the provision of research services and support to the implementation of technological, healthy and inclusive solutions, with a clear vision of promoting social growth and inclusion through the sharing of good practices in essential areas for society, such as equality and inclusion, ethical behaviour and environmental responsibility….Continue Reading Nurses and caregivers support SHINE 2Europe in the STEP_UP game development

STEP_UP featured in EPALE

STEP_UP: Stop Epidemic Growth Through Learning is a European Erasmus+ project started in December 2020, that will last until the end of February 2023. STEP_UP intends to develop a training tool for social care professionals, volunteers and community stakeholders, where they are introduced to the impact of behaviours in the spread of a pandemic/emergency situation and trained, through gaming strategies, to prevent and cope. Read more…Continue Reading STEP_UP featured in EPALE