1. Deck, Michele L. MEd, BSN, RN, FACCE

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Some educators think that motivation is a complex variable that takes hours to plan for and reach in learners. I would like to challenge you to think that it is possible to motivate others in a variety of quick and innovative ways. I met Elaine Miller, BSN, RN, C (, who is the Program Coordinator and Instructor at Eastern Idaho Technical College. She teaches a wide variety of learners with different backgrounds how to become successful nurses. We first met at a presentation of mine in Idaho and then again in 2005 in Las Vegas at Mosby's Faculty Development Institute. Elaine shared a wonderful, inexpensive, and simple motivating idea she created between those two workshops. Here are her words:


After hearing Michele Deck at an Idaho nurse educators conference, my colleagues and I stopped at a toy shop. Armed with new ideas, we needed the "toys." I purchased a Sherlock Holmes pipe (they didn't have a magnifying glass). During an open lab session on oxygenation and oxygenation equipment, I had many students asking me questions that we had covered in lecture and they should have known from class lecture and assigned readings. Rather than answer the questions for them myself, I handed the students the pipe. I told them that until they returned with the answer, like Sherlock, they had to carry the pipe. I found that having the pipe got the other students' attention and soon they were discussing the question. Very quickly the students began thinking about the answer to the question rather than just asking it, so they did not find themselves in possession of the prop pipe. Many of the students verbalized that they knew the answer if they stopped to think about it.


How many of us are charged with making learners think critically? Elaine's visual representation of thinking, the Sherlock pipe, acted as a motivator to invite the learner to think and consult peers, rather than automatically relying solely on the educator for all the answers. I'm sure the actual monetary cost of the pipe has been small when compared to the investment of developing priceless thinking skills in the learners. Thank you, Elaine, for sharing your creativity with all of us.