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  • Created 03 Jun 2023

Applications Due: August 12, 2023

Apply now!


Are you interested in creating an online, open source module in tropical biology that is based on your own research? Apply now to join us for the Fall 2023 – Spring 2024 OCELOTS (Network for Facilitating Online Content for Experiential Learning of Tropical Systems) & BioQUEST/QUBES Incubator.

Participants in this Incubator will create an online module in tropical biology for use in undergraduate life science courses, with the module hosted on the Gala platform. This will likely involve taking your case study that is based on your own research and working with a team of 1-3 mentors who will enable you to use best teaching and learning practices, the Ecological Society of America's 4DEE framework, media, and/or interactive data tools. As part of the process, teams will participate in virtual sessions once every two weeks (bi-weekly) to collaborate with and support others in the network.

Applications are due August 12, 2023.

Space is limited, so apply now!

Description: The OCELOTS network is joining forces with BioQUEST/QUBES to work with faculty who are interested in creating an online module in tropical biology that is based on a case study from their own research. Modules will be hosted on the Gala platform. We will enable (and encourage) researchers to work in teams that include collaborators/mentors who assist in the use of active learning methods, media, and interactive data tools. Preference will be given to case studies that are based on published research in peer-reviewed journals. Access examples of OCELOTS modules here.

Dates & Location:

The virtual kick-off will be held the second week in September, 2023 (date and time TBD). The Incubator will continue through April 2024. We will meet bi-weekly (once every two weeks), with a break over the winter holidays. Meeting times will be arranged, based on the participants’ schedules. The synchronous meetings will provide opportunities for learning and discussion about various aspects of module creation, sharing tips, support, and peer-editing. Asynchronous meetings for creating the module will take place as needed, as determined by the module author and their team members.  

How to Apply:

Applications are due August 12, 2023. You can follow this link to view the application form. Accepted applicants will be notified by August 15. Space is limited, so apply early.

Commitment and Benefits of Participation:

To qualify, participants must be willing to:

1. Attend synchronous meetings via Zoom, held bi-weekly (once every two weeks). The initial Kick-off and a few meetings will last one hour; all other meetings will last 30 minutes. Participants spend ~30 minutes checking out materials and posting discussion comments for each meeting.

2. Create a draft of a new OCELOTS module asynchronously, working collaboratively on a schedule that you arrange with your team members. The time needed for this will depend on the extent to which your content has already been developed and the complexity of your module. To aid you in assessing this, please consult the ‘Getting Started’ page of our Author Guidelines.

3. Participate in Networkshops, a friendly peer-review process for receiving helpful comments and suggestions from other participants on drafts of modules. A one-hr-long Networkshop, held via Zoom, will be devoted for each module.

3. Publish the module on the Gala platform, and provide the link and a brief description of the module for the QUBES platform.

What will you get out of this?

1. Module creation: You will have created an online module that is published on the Gala and QUBES platforms.

2. Professional development: Throughout the Incubator, you will be introduced to active learning methods, the 4DEE framework, best practices in the use of media and interactive data tools in your module, and information about copyrights, accessibility and inclusivity. 

3. Friendly peer review: Through the Networkshop, you will receive helpful comments and suggestions from other OCELOTS participants as part of the peer-review process. You will also have the opportunity to reciprocate, providing other Incubator participants with feedback on their draft modules.

Additional benefits:

  • Recognition as a 2023-24 OCELOTS Education Scholar upon completion of all network requirements.
  • Potential for scholarly publications depending on the innovations developed, or upon using the module in the classroom and evaluating impacts on student learning.
  • A payment of $1000 upon successful completion of the Incubator if their institutions allow it.


If you have questions, please feel free to contact Ann Russell at arussell@iastate.edu or Molly Phillips at molly.phillips@bioquest.org.