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The ongoing COVID‐19 pandemic caused by SARS‐CoV‐2 has caused widespread deaths, illnesses, and societal disruption. I describe here how I pivoted a discussion‐based senior biology capstone course to include a multiweek module surrounding one primary literature paper on the evolution of SARS‐CoV‐2 and the subsequent scientific discourse about the paper. Using a gradual reveal of the paper following the CREATE method (consider, read, elucidate, and think of the next experiment), I challenged students to learn new evolutionary principles and critically analyze the data surrounding the evolution and transmission of SARS‐CoV‐2 presented in the paper. I also provide general advice for implementing this module in future courses.


This article was originally published in Ecology and Evolution in 2020.

This scholarship is part of the Chapman University COVID-19 Archives.


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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.



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