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brainstorming |
Throughout the early stages of your project, your team will have to answer several "what", "why", and "how" questions. One of the best ways to do this is to brainstorm. The following information is provided by the Studio to aid you in this endeavor.
 Brainstorming Rules:
  1. Collect as many ideas as possible from all participants with no criticisms or judgments made while ideas are being generated.
  2. All ideas are welcome no matter how silly or far out they seem. Be creative. The more ideas the better because at this point you don't know what might work.
  3. Absolutely no discussion takes place during the brainstorming activity. Talking about the ideas will take place after brainstorming is complete.
  4. Do not criticize or judge. Don't even groan, frown, or laugh. All ideas are equally valid at this point.
  5. Do build on others' ideas.
  6. Do write all ideas on a flipchart or board so the whole group can easily see them.
  7. Set a time limit (i.e., 30 minutes) for the brainstorming.

Brainstorming Sequence:
  1. One team member should review the topic of the brainstorm using "why", "how", or "what" questions.
    The topic for the brainstorm is developing a training course on automobiles. What should we focus on as the content?
  2. Everyone should think about the question silently for a few moments. Each person might want to jot down his/her ideas on a sheet of paper.
    (1) Types of cars; (2) Parts of cars; (3) Car manufacturers; (4) Categories of cars; (5) How cars work.
  3. Everyone suggests ideas by calling them out. Another way is to go around the room and have each person read an idea from his/her list until all ideas have been written on the board or flipchart. (Note: The team member in charge of the brainstorming session should be enforcing the rules.)
  4. One team member writes down all ideas on board or flipchart.

Making the final selection:
  1. When all the ideas have been recorded, combine ideas as much as possible, but only when the original contributors agree.
    (1) Types of cars and (4) Categories of cars (from example under #2 above) are really the same, so number 4 is eliminated.
  2. Number all of the ideas.
  3. Each member votes on the ideas by making a list of the numbers of the ideas he/she thinks are important or should be discussed further. This list should contain no more than one third of the total number of ideas.
  4. After counting the votes, cross out ideas with only one or two votes. Then vote again until only a few ideas remain(i.e., 3 or 4). If there is no clear-cut winner, then vote again or discuss the remaining ideas and determine which idea best answers the original question.

S tudio 1151 Guidebook by Karen McNally and Alan Levine
Maricopa Center for Learning and Instruction (MCLI)
Maricopa Community Colleges

The Internet Connection at MCLI is Alan Levine --}
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