In certain courses, students are often asked to form groups to “brainstorm”–is it productive?
Whether a group session is productive, or not, can heavily depend on the individuals in the group itself. If what transpires is a group free-for-all: personality clashes, control freaks try to take over, bruised egos left in the wake–it’s been a total waste of time. One study, by Peter Heslin, a business professor at Southern Methodist University and author of the study, believes “brainwriting” might be the better answer. Professor Heslin stated, “When you brainstorm, people have to wait a couple of minutes to allow others to talk before they can reveal their ideas…people will lose confidence and start thinking their ideas are unworthy or crazy.” He admits that brainwriting takes discipline, but the benefits are worth it.