What is the meaning of brainstorming? It is the act of conducting group discussions in order to come up with new ideas or to solve a particular problem. Brainstorming is not exactly restricted to students, it is used by everyone from multinational corporate companies to college students in dorm rooms. It is an effective way of ruling out and creating new ideas because it relies not on just each individual contributor’s idea, but also on the wisdom of the crowd.
So now, what is the meaning of brainstorming sessions? Well, a brainstorming session is the name given to the act of people sitting down together to discuss their ideas. These are sessions where the students explore and expand their ability to think critically and rationally. As they get involved more actively, the sessions help accelerate the process of learning and enhance their academic performance.
Now that we have deciphered the meaning of brainstorming and what a brainstorming session is all about, let’s get into the benefits of the same. Discussed below are some of the most well-known and immediate benefits of brainstorming.
1. Focus and Critical Reasoning Skill Enhancement
One of the most important aspects students learn while brainstorming is persistence. Brainstorming usually involves discussing one specific idea and the outcomes that can come as a result of its implementation. This requires that the students focus on that one particular topic only, which will help them improve concentration skills. In addition, brainstorming on one topic forces them to push the limits of their knowledge within that category.
2. Generating Numerous Creative Ideas
This obviously is the most immediate logical benefit of a brainstorming session. Since there will be a lot of students involved, the type of ideas will be many and all of them will be diverse. Every student will have their own way of thinking, and so what each person brings to the table will be quite different. The larger the number of students participating in the brainstorming session, the greater will be the number of ideas, creative ones at that.
3. Fostering Respect and Acceptance
A brainstorming session is an exchange of ideas, and not all ideas will be treated equally. In a pool of ideas, only a few will be accepted by the majority of the people involved. Hence, another important aspect of brainstorming is becoming respectful, if not accepting, of other people’s ideas and opinions. This can be a very important life lesson because they will be able to take in and digest ideas that they previously might have considered not worth their time. It also helps to create a safe space for the other students which will help them build confidence in themselves and the ideas they come up with. The meaning of brainstorming has changed from being just about debating ideas to creating an inclusive space for all.
4. Encouraging Students to Take Risks
People in India generally tend to take risks to achieve their goals. Brainstorming sessions can help with getting rid of such a mindset by allowing students to voice their opinions and ideas out loud to a number of different individuals. This makes them less prone to be hesitant when it comes to expressing themselves and the ideas they may have formed.
5. The Social Aspect
Brainstorming sessions can be quite useful in making friends. Even though people generally make friends with people who have similar interests, brainstorming sessions can be a way of connecting people despite such differences.
How to Conduct a Brainstorming Session
Now that we know what the various benefits are when conducting a brainstorming session, let's get into how a teacher can conduct a brainstorming session in the classroom.
Choose the Topic Beforehand
This is quite an important step because brainstorming involves the exchange of ideas, and a lot of it rides on what the students know themselves. If they don't know the topics being discussed, there will hardly be any point in conducting the brainstorming session anyway. Therefore, the teacher should ideally provide them with the topic along with the right amount of context behind it. Try to keep the topic as diverse as possible so that different viewpoints can emerge from the same. It does not have to be so, but it would be better if it were so that more students are exposed to more ideas, ultimately allowing them to decide for themselves.
Allow Each Student A Limited Time
The success of a brainstorming session is based on the amount of information they can bring into the session and the different types of ideas that are presented at the table. Therefore, each student should only be given a limited amount of time to articulate their idea or viewpoint. This way, the students will have to be precise and concise in the way they present their idea, and hence helps them break down concepts better.
Ask Questions That Will Bring Out Differences in Opinion
The most important aspect of a brainstorming session is the exchange of different types of ideas, and this often involves opposing views. Try to ask questions that will make them think about the different possibilities that can arise and give them the space to have a discussion on the same.
As mentioned earlier, the meaning of brainstorming has been expanded intellectually to include different varieties of ideas that would not have been possible if not for such a change. In today’s world of conflicting ideologies, such brainstorming sessions can be the key to helping people come together under the umbrella of intellectual thought and ideas to start a wholesome conversation. Teachmint's interactive school LMS feature helps enables this in so many ways - check out our features here!
Here is a video from Teachmint on the types of brainstorming techniques you can use: