I was once asked to sit on a brainstorming session for new marketing collateral. The concerned teams discussed and floated infinite ideas for collateral designs. Finally, the design team created three or four templates based on the ideas generated at the meeting. I came out refreshed at the end of the session, amazed at the ideas that floated all around.
Why brainstorm? Simply said, brainstorming is an idea-generating process aimed to think up out-of-box ideas while working on a problem. Many brainstorming sessions deal with a particular problem where fresh ideas are needed.
How does one brainstorm? Brainstorming can take place in groups of four to seven or ten. Some rules to follow for healthy brainstorming session are:
- Avoid passing judgment on others’ ideas. The ideas generated in the session can be noted down for further evaluation. Instant criticism is detrimental to the group.
- The whole idea of the session is to think differently. Individuals can come up with wild, out-of-box, bizarre ideas that can even make the group laugh. Some of these ideas turn out to be practical when put in use.
- Catch on to an idea, improve, modify or build around it. Suggest changes that would make the idea much better, bizarre or wild. Use someone else’s idea as a stimulus and improve on it.
- Quantity is more important than quality. At the start, regular, run-of-the-mill ideas come to mind. Later on in the session, participants come up with fresh and creative ideas. The more you brainstorm, the more there is to choose from, adapt or combine. Most sessions aim for at least 50+ ideas.
Anyone and everyone can brainstorm, but not always is a brainstorming session held, probably because it is much easier to use standard templates, colors and other available elements from the library.
I agree that sometimes brainstorming can be time-consuming if the ideas at the end of it offer nothing new. When a team of creative individuals gather to discuss, ideas fly around, while others build around them or refine them or come up with much better ideas. Collating these ideas can lead to an interactive and engaging web-based course. This makes the brainstorming process simple.
- List the basic outline of the course content and flow
- Mention the topics to be brainstormed
- Ask for ideas on presenting the topics
- Jot down all the ideas
- Collate similar-sounding ideas and strike off unfeasible ones
At the end of the process, the ideas are refined with the best ones rising to the occasion. An e-learning course can be greatly improved if the concerned people brainstormfor good, workable ideas.
Do share your thoughts with me on the same.