I frequently conduct brainstorming during my live classes, which work well dividing the class into table groups, use flip charts etc. I have found it much harder to get discussion / brainstorming going in virtual versions of the same class (so far using iLinc to conduct the webinars). Any suggestions on how to make get brainstorming in a virtual environment?
One suggestion, which I have used and is somewhat effective, is to ask participants to e-mail me one idea for the brainstorm in advance, and then use the responses to begin the session. That does help, but still is not perfect.
Richard, I use a couple of methods quite effectively, depending on the need. One is to have participants use Chat to submit suggestions as fast as they can. (The chats should be sent to All, not just you, so everyone can see them unfold live.) You can then capture (copy) those suggestions from the Chat and paste to a whiteboard in real time. Another option is to have participants use the annotation text tool and scribe their suggestions directly on the whiteboard. The latter option is chaotic and a lot of fun. When the whiteboard fills (typically 60-90 seconds), you can take a short break from the brainstorming and do a quick multi-vote. Have participants use the annotation stamp tool to vote for their top three. Transcribe those top three to a new whiteboard, and challenge the participants to expand on them. Etc.
If you want to get really carried away, do the multi-voting again on the new whiteboard. Form teams, and send each team into a breakout room, with each team assigned one of the top vote-getters. Their task is to brainstorm their assigned suggestion and report results back to the large group. (You could skip the multi-vote in this latter round.)