Years ago, as a new classroom instructor, I used to wonder why some of my colleagues used brainstorming techniques in the classroom. After all, as the instructor, I knew the content I wanted to see brought forward, and the students were there to learn from me, right? So why would I ask the students to brainstorm? Why shouldn’t I just list the important items on the whiteboard or on a bulleted slide and be done?
The answer, of course, is engagement. Presenting participants with data is not the same as teaching. By asking participants to come up with ideas, answers, or examples, you encourage them to engage with the content. And engagement is a precursor of learning.
So, marker in hand, you stand before the classroom and start writing things down as the class participants call them out. No judging. You write all ideas down. You maybe even learn new ideas you hadn’t thought about before, by listening to your students. Adult learning, after all, is not a one-way street. Often, your learners are themselves experienced professionals, and they make important contributions to your course content.
What do you do if the student brainstorm does not produce some of the ideas or examples you think are important? Ask follow-up questions. What about this? What about that? These follow-ups help guide the participants to the additional items you think are important. Soon, the class has created a better list than your slide alone could have contained, and participants are focused and thinking about the content instead of struggling to absorb static data.
The online classroom is complex, this article has highlighted very good brainstorming techniques that are effective in the e-learning environment. i think that these strategies are as important in the digital era as in the traditional classroom environment.
Posted by: Simon K. Bett | May 24, 2018 at 07:51 AM