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Everyone knows what brainstorming is, right? It is a way of generating creative ideas and solutions through intensive and freewheeling group discussion. Brainstorming has become a common tool and part of everyday language, but is also often used in a sloppy way. Not every discussion is a brainstorm, there are actual rules to follow in order to get optimal results.

For a brainstorming session you invite learners to be creative, and to think outside of the box, emphasising the fact that they will not be judged. Analysis, discussion, or criticism of the ideas is not allowed during the session. This open environment will encourage learners to think aloud and suggest as many ideas as possible, no matter how unusual they may seem.

Capturing all ideas

As a moderator you will define the topic or question learners will brainstorm about. You encourage your learners to express their spontaneous thoughts, and then capture all ideas on a flip chart or white board. It’s allowed to ask clarifying questions, but only in a non-judgmental way.

Inspiring each other

Brainstorming forms a great way to quickly collect ideas and thoughts, and to get your learners inspired by each other. It also enhances group work, as it shows that you can achieve more by working together. In a following discussion, learners can continue their collaboration by evaluating and clustering their ideas.

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