This is a type of active learning in which the instructor poses a question or problem and learners generate as many ideas as possible within a specified time frame.  Generated ideas are not evaluated until the conclusion of the brainstorming session.  At that time, the instructor brings the class back together to organize and rank ideas/solutions.  Brainstorming activities are not limited to writing down ideas on paper. 


Brainstorming is not only an effective synchronous activity but can be a very powerful asynchronous activity. Pre-assign brainstorming sessions and then debrief them live in class. 


  • A Better Way to Brainstorm: How to Get Students to Generate Original Ideas (1:42 video) 
  • Malkawi, N. A., & Smadi, M. (2018). The effectiveness of using a brainstorming strategy in the development of academic achievement of sixth-grade students in English grammar at public schools in Jordan. International Education Studies, 11(3), 92 
  • Unin, N., & Bearing, P. (2016). Brainstorming as a Way to Approach Student-centered Learning in the ESL Classroom. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 224, 605-61 

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