There are a few simple rules to follow:

  • accept every idea without criticism and write it down
  • the more ideas the better, don’t worry too much about the quality
  • no discussion about ideas until after the brainstorm
  • set a time limit – about ten minutes.

Accept all suggestions and use them as a starting point for processing the brainstorm. This can actually be a very useful way to set expectations about appropriate language, public and private information and speaking in the third person.

Once the brainstorm or discussion is complete, inform students that, although particular words and phrases may be used in other contexts, during class time they should use correct language that is not sexist, racist, homophobic or offensive.

The way ideas are processed obviously depends on the purpose of the brainstorm or discussion. A useful way is to cross out ideas that are obviously inappropriate and follow these up if derogatory language has been used. Combine words or phrases that are similar, with consensus from the students. Then carry out a prioritising activity, which can easily be done with a show of hands, to reduce the list further.

The digital tool selector provides templates and tools to support the use of ICT for brainstorming and peer-based discussion to encourage collaboration.

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