Submitted by Annika and Bir… on Thu, 04/26/2018 - 12:22

In a brainstorming session participants collect  ideas and associations to a specific topic, question or a problem spontaneously. The goal is to find as many aspects of the question or the problem as possible. The brainstorming method stimulates the participants' creativity while ideas are collected. Moreover, a variety of a topic is shown and the prior knowledge is activated. Brainstorming is a good way to get started with a new topic. It is particularly suitable as an introduction to difficult learning content. It's also a good idea to use brainstorming in situations where work stagnates to get the work off the ground again.

All subjects
Blended learning
Online learning
Sequence of activities
  • The lecturer first explains the question or the problem.
  • The students then have the opportunity to spontaneously tell their associations and ideas. An important rule is that any association or idea is welcome. Therefore, neither queries, nor criticism and comments on the utterances are allowed.
  • Write down the different associations.
  • Use the results for further work.
Assessment method
Direct observation
Communication tools (Videoconference, Forum and Chat)

A recent publication evaluated brainstorming practices in Higher Education:

Al-Samarraie, H., & Hurmuzan, S. (2018). A review of brainstorming techniques in higher education. Thinking Skills and Creativity27(October 2017), 78–91.

< 30 minutes
Grade your contribution (I consider this TEL method can be used with TEL tools)