|dc.description.abstract||Creating lively, engaging and reflection-oriented assignments for learners
is an important area of focus for educators. The Center for Nursing and Health
Studies at Athabasca University in Canada offers a program for Licensed Practical
Nurses to earn a Bachelor of Nursing degree from their home communities both virtually
through online course delivery and in-person through attending clinical placements.
This article provides a description of one novel assignment, the construction
of a portfolio, which is completed during a course in psychiatric mental health. Students
work on the assignment both online and as a member of a clinical learning
group. The four portfolio artifacts include, first, learners examine the incidence
and prevalence of mental health issues in their own community. Second, they
explore nursing and psychological theorists. Third, they analyze a referral instrument
relevant to their current or future practice noting author, reliability and validity.
Fourth, they construct two inpatient case studies in collaboration with the
mental health team. Insights into the experiences students found engaging and difficult
as they completed the assignment are discussed and practical suggestions for
designing portfolio learning activities are offered.||en