Get Your Facts Straight! project successfully finished. Is this the end?

31 August 2020 marked the conclusion of the Get Your Facts Straight! project. In 13.5 months, nine project partners from all corners of Europe developed and delivered media literacy training to combat disinformation to 900 people of all ages. It sounds straightforward but believe us when we say the reality was quite different.

The aim of the Get Your Facts Straight! project was to provide media literacy education to students and young people from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds, as well as to their parents and/or grandparents. With the Coronavirus outbreak and the related proliferation of disinformation, the need for media literacy has become even more pronounced. In this context, project partners decided to open the training to young people and adults alike and enable anyone interested in learning the basics of how to recognise and tackle disinformation, to take part.

The training outline was developed to deliver face-to-face training activities which are divided into three modules:

  • What is disinformation (the “WHAT”),
  • How social media make money and why disinformation and propaganda are vastly present on social media (the “WHY”), and
  • How to recognise and react to disinformation (the “HOW”)

 

The training is concluded by the final assignment. To accommodate different needs and profiles of the target groups –  young people and their parents/grandparents, the 10-hour training is split into two sessions. The first 5-hour session is implemented separately for each target group while the second session is a joint one. A detailed description of the training activity (learning objectives, session outlines, learning materials etc.) is available in the GYFS Training Toolkit that is available in English, Bulgarian, Catalan, Croatian, German, Italian, Latvian, Romanian and Spanish.

The process of developing the training activity started by literature review and research based on the training criteria and was followed by developing the training methodology, participant selection criteria and identification of potential challenges in conducting the training as well developing possible solutions. Read more about this process in Training methodology report.

Methodology development was followed by the preparation of the training outline and selection of open educational resources. This part of the project culminated with a media literacy experts and trainers meeting in Brussels in November 2019 that provided valuable feedback and content inputs about the project outputs, which were used in the finalisation of the training activity.

By the beginning of March, everything was ready to kick-off the piloting of the training. To mark and celebrate the milestone, project partners organized Get Your Facts Straight! Fighting disinformation and fake news through media literacy event in the framework of ALL DIGITAL Week. Prominent representatives of civil society organisations, educators and media literacy practitioners gathered in Brussels to discuss the different aspects of the fight against disinformation and to launch Get Your Facts Straight! social media campaign which should have been an introduction to piloting activities in Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Spain and Romania.

 

Then life happened. Lockdowns were enforced across Europe, and it became clear that any face-to-face activities would be impossible to implement. The partnership was faced with a tough decision – whether to postpone the piloting activities or implement them online (but having to implement significant changes to the delivery of the training). Project consortium opted for the latter option.

Training in Latvia

Despite this big change, the training methodology remained largely unchanged. Partners exercised their creativity and experience in using different tools for e-learning, assessed their unique national and local contexts and adapted the GYFS training outline to accommodate them. For example (click the links to learn more about partners’ piloting experiences), CTC Rijeka and EOS Romania delivered a self-paced course on Moodle, while Stiftung Digitale Chancen chose to conduct live webinars.

Training in Italy

Some partners, such as Ventspils Digital Centre and Global Libraries – Buglaria Foundation, worked with schools to incorporate webinars into the school education curriculum for students, while Colectic reached out, besides general public, specifically to educators and trainers. Some partners like Open Group also conducted the training in two sessions to include more participants; the first solely with webinars, the second using offline meetings.

Despite the odds, the piloting activities were very successful.

Almost 900 people participated in training activities across 7 European countries and many lessons were learned along the way that will be useful for future implementations of the Get Your Facts Straight! media literacy training activity or any other educational activities aiming at empowering people with media literacy skills. Detailed descriptions of the piloting experiences, adapted training outlines, learning materials used and lessons learned are available in the Piloting report.

Another great output of the training is a list of teaching and learning resources that project partners collected and tested during the implementation of the project. Each partner chose five best resources. We organized and published them on the project website. Please, exploit them, as well as all the other resources developed and tested in the Get Your Facts Straight! project and published on its website.

Get Your Facts Straight! project was co-funded by Preparatory action “Media literacy for all” of the European Commission DG CNECT. Grant Agreement: LC-01249049