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|5 - 30 minutes (depending on size of class/sharing time)|
Create an open-ended question or topic.
Create sub-questions or subtopics to focus thoughts.
Establish a supportive environment.
State rules before starting the session.
Set a time limit.
Moderate discussion to ensure amiability.
Do not add evaluation or comments during brainstorming.
Have students/pairs/groups share brainstorming with
Correct misconceptions and summarize thoughts at
|Assessment||low-stakes, formative (participation)|
Brainstorming allows students to think critically about ideas and solutions, form connections, and share ideas with peers. Often, there are no wrong answers when brainstorming; in this way, students are able to freely express their thoughts without fear of failure. Brainstorming activities include listing, free writing, outlining, mapping/webs, and pro-con grids. Methods used for brainstorming and sharing include:
- physical writing/drawing tools like paper, posterboard, or whiteboard
- digital writing/drawing tools like Word, Photoshop, or any ideas-mapping software
- collaborative tools like Google hangouts, Google docs, WebEx
Brainstorming sessions can be run in both online and face-to-face classes, during both synchronous and asynchronous schedules. Synchronous collaboration tools like Google Hangouts or WebEx help facilitate this activity online. Even Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook can be used to collect brainstorming ideas from the class. Likewise, tools like Google drive (which can be instantaneous) or NYU Classes (which would be better used in a asynchronous brainstorming activity) can allows the instructor to display students’ shared and synthesized ideas.
Read on to sections 1a. and 1b. for specific types or variations of brainstorming techniques.