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Adapting a module in tropical ecology

Applications now closed

Are you interested in adapting an online, open-source module in tropical ecology that is based on authentic research? Apply now to join us for the Summer 2022 OCELOTS (Network for Facilitating Online Content for Experiential Learning of Tropical Systems) & BioQUEST/QUBES Faculty Mentoring Network (FMN).

Participants in this FMN will focus on adapting an existing OCELOTS module in tropical ecology for use in undergraduate life science courses. Accepted applicants will work with mentors to customize an existing OCELOTS module hosted on the Gala platform (https://www.learngala.com/) for use in their own courses and/or to be shared with others. This may involve modifying the module for a different educational level, translating it into a new language, adapting it for a different teaching setting or use of media or interactive data tools. While doing this, they will participate in weekly virtual sessions to collaborate with and support others in the network and receive mentoring.

Applications were due April 15, 2022.

Space is limited, and the network is launching soon, so apply now!

Description: The OCELOTS network (https://qubeshub.org/community/groups/ocelots) is joining forces with BioQUEST/QUBES to work with faculty who are interested in adapting a specific module in tropical ecology, hosted on the Gala platform. Participating researchers and educators are encouraged to customize the module for use in their classrooms.

Selected modules (https://www.learngala.com/catalog/libraries/ocelots):

  • Snapshot Serengeti Online Lab’ is multi-week inquiry that lets students explore African wildlife ecology by interactively analyzing camera trap data.
  • ‘Restoring tropical forests’ set in Costa Rica lets students interpret bar graphs, use R Shiny to visualize seed rain in different restoration treatments, and learn about social obstacles to restoration.
  • ‘Sounds of the tropics’ begins with understandings of recorded wildlife sounds, then shows how such auditory data can serve ecological and conservation studies.
  • Healing the Scars: Tropical rainforest carbon cycling’uses a long-term field experiment to connects the dots about how carbon cycling at the whole-plant level translates into global-level effects.

Dates & Location:

The virtual kick-off will be held during the first week of June 2022 (date and time TBD). FMN meetings will be held online weekly throughout June and July, with meeting times to be arranged, based on the participants’ schedules. The FMN will provide members with guidance, support, and discussion opportunities as they adapt an OCELOTS module. Synchronous meetings will include ample opportunities for peer discussions and peer-editing. Asynchronous individual meetings among the 2-4 team members will take place between the synchronous weekly meetings. It is not required that you work in teams, but is highly recommended.


How to Apply:

Applications were due April 15, 2022. Accepted applicants will be notified by May 1, 2022. Space is limited, only 20 participants will be selected.


What will you get out of this?

A. Professional development: Throughout the FMN, you will be introduced to active learning methods, the Ecological Society of America's 4DEE framework, best practices in use of media in your modules, use of interactive data tools, and information about copyrights, accessibility, and inclusivity.

B. Module adaptation: You can choose from one of four existing OCELOTS modules and revise it with a specific adaptation in mind, e.g., inclusion of new data exploration tools, creation of a new version for a different class setting (e.g., duration, level of difficulty).

C. Networkshopping: You will receive friendly and helpful comments and suggestions directly on the module draft and also during a virtual meeting as part of the peer review process. You will also have the opportunity to reciprocate, providing other FMN participants with feedback on their draft modules. 


Your Commitment:

To qualify, participants must be willing to adapt one of four specific Gala modules. Participants must also be able to commit ~2 hours per week for working with mentors and collaborating with other participants around the adaptation  of the module. This will include 1 hour to review materials, plan, and start adapting the module, and ~1 hour for working with mentors and collaborating with other participants to create/test materials. Additional time may be required for independent work on adapting and reviewing modules.


Additional Benefits:

  • Membership in the Gala platform - i.e., access to all educational materials and resources, and modules as they are created.
  • Recognition as a 2022 OCELOTS Education Scholar upon completion of all network requirements.
  • Familiarity with a cutting-edge collaborative software for education technology innovation process (design, prototype, pilot, production) 
  • Potential for scholarly publications depending on the innovations developed, or upon using the module in the classroom and evaluating impacts on student learning.
  • Participants who are U.S. citizens or residents may be able to receive a payment if their institutions allow it.



If you have questions, please feel free to contact please feel free to contact Ann Russell at arussell@isu.edu or Deb Rook at deb.rook@bioquest.org.

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