lluminating paths to resilience with the science of stress

  • Portero Tresserra, Marta (Principal Investigator)
  • Marti Nicolovius, Margarita (Principal Investigator 2)
  • Ana Barroca (Investigator)
  • Catarina Neto (Investigator)
  • Davinia Hernández-Leo (Investigator)
  • Merja Bauters (Investigator)
  • Mie Guldbaek Broens (Investigator)
  • Minna Huotilainen (Investigator)
  • Tharrenos Bratitsis (Investigator)

Project Details


The inability to adequately manage stress is adversely affecting the lives of many students. Poor management of stress affects quality of life and interferes with the abilities of students to learn effectively both in the classroom and outside of it. Excessive stress can prevent student learning from happening and as the EU Joint Action on Mental Health and Well-being (2013-2016) writes, “The educational setting is the most important arena outside the family for the development of children’s mental health.”

The project’s objective is to empower students with knowledge of the Science of Stress – to help students understand what is happening physiologically and why; and to teach them about research-supported strategies that can be used to manage their stress thereby supporting their progression toward becoming resilient self-regulated learners.
The project supports both students and teachers.
STUDENTS: The project aims to help students better manage the stress they encounter on a regular basis through educational activities delivered in the classroom and online. The key Intellectual Outputs for students are:
• Spotlighters Student Lessons: A set of classroom lessons that help students recognize the physiological signs of stress, identify potential stressors, and plan and practice self-regulatory responses. The lessons are initially developed for secondary school students with subsequent adaptations made by partners for primary and higher education students who are in transition years.

• Spotlighters Student MOOC: A massive open online course (MOOC) based on the student lessons that is made available to students worldwide thereby extending the reach and accessibility of the project outputs beyond the life of the project.

SCHOOL EDUCATION TEACHERS: The project aims to help teachers formatively develop their own teaching practices and to learn how to better support student resiliency through improving their self-regulatory competences. The key Intellectual Outputs for teachers are:

• Spotlight – Teaching Support Tool: An online, real-time testing software used to support teachers in better connecting with their students’ learning and facilitating their transitions into active learning states. Transition activities scaffold the self-regulatory practices of students. Pre-tests enable teachers to ascertain and better connect to the prior knowledge of their students. Post tests enable teachers to identify and correct persisting misconceptions – and help teachers better understand how students are interpreting their lessons. The analytics dashboard of the tool provides real-time indicators that highlight the content that teachers should prioritize during their subsequent teaching. The learning analytics collected also support post lesson reflections and guide improvements of future iterations of the lessons that can be shared within teaching communities for reuse.

• Spotlighters Teacher Training Workshops: A set of workshops that aim to teach educators how to deliver the Spotlighters Student Lessons; how to design lessons to support student resilience; and how to develop their teaching practices by making use of the Spotlight tool and supporting formative and collaborative learning design methodologies.
Effective start/end date1/09/1831/12/21

Collaborative partners

  • Advancis Business Services LDA
  • Boon Unipessoal LDA
  • Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF) (lead)
  • Metropolia, University of Applied Sciences
  • Loop bz
  • University of Helsinki - Helsingin Yliopisto
  • University of Western Macedonia
  • Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB)


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