This year, students in Wanda Martin's community health nursing class were given the choice between writing or getting creative.
The focus of the class is health promotion. Topics such as community assessment, program development, social marketing, and issues unique to Saskatchewan’s Aboriginal, rural and remote populations are covered throughout the term. The purpose of the art-based assignment was to identify an issue that a community health nurse might encounter and to plan an alternative approach to talk about the issue. Final projects included a photo series, original song, infographics, a children's story book and advocacy videos.
“It was a big experiment for me and well-suited to the community health class," said Martin, an assistant professor in the College of Nursing. "Students could choose to write a traditional paper on their own, or work in a group to produce something creative.”
In total, about half the class took part in completing art-based projects. “Students commented on how nice it was to use the creative part of their brain," added Martin. "This is one way, I think, we can encourage imagination while sharing hidden talents.”