Using the epidemiologic triangle framework (i.e., agent, host, environment), this early-semester activity was designed to help students both understand the multifaceted nature of COVID-19 and relax their tendency to compartmentalize knowledge. Specifically, the activity asked students to categorize the titles of 24 COVID-related research papers into the three categories (agent, host, environment) and 12 arbitrary subcategories. Instead of giving lectures and making students read research papers, we engaged them in reviewing and categorizing the titles to better understand the epidemiologic triangle. Students’ content knowledge about COVID-related jargon was significantly improved and their attitude toward reading research papers was improved in some cases. Their responses toward the activity were overwhelmingly positive. Therefore, in this paper, we also provide additional suggestions for applications.

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