Evaluating a Brainstorming Session


Student Dialog - Evaluating a Brainstorming Session

Brian, Deena, and Heather talking. Deena: How do we know if we maximized our efforts?

Heather: We need to have checkpoints and evaluations.

Deena: That's what I'm getting at. We should have a way to know if things went well. That way we can improve our technique and be more efficient.

Heather: Do we evaluate during the session or at the end?

Deena: Maybe both.

Heather: If we do it during the session, it could slow things down because we would lose focus, and the freewheeling aspect that is needed could be disrupted.

Brian: I agree. I think looking at the group performance is appropriate. Looking at the ideas is another issue.

Deena: Maybe having a grasp of the performance points before the session begins will help us review the session at the end. If the session went well, then the content generated should be good, I would think.

Heather: So what do we want to do? What are some ideas for group's evaluating their performance?

Brian: To avoid evaluating presented ideas, we should make a list of ideal brainstorm session tactics to evaluate the group's performance in those areas. And add "thinking up ideas" and "broad topics" if that is OK with everyone.

Deena: Building and expanding on other's ideas.

Heather: Good one, Deena. I'd like to add, "getting everyone to participate" to the list.

Brian: I'm going to add, "listening to one another."

Heather: Another good thing to remember is the "critiquing of ideas" part. I'm adding that, too.

Brian: Has anyone noticed that Heather has been playing a duel role lately?

Deena: What do you mean, Brian?

Brian: Well, a mediator has to stay focused on the task so the group doesn't stray too far and at the same time encourage active participation. It just occurred to me that Heather has been doing that.

Deena: Good point! I think we should add, "how well the mediator functioned," which could also help evaluate if one was even in the group.

Brian: Without a doubt, there has to be a place for the group recorder and how well he or she did.

Heather: OK. I'll put that down. Next time, you be the recorder. I think that should be rotated also.

Brian: Could I suggest that since this is kind of like a self-survey, that we put each item in the form of a question? That way it works like a checklist. I think all I need to do is add the phrase, "How well did the group members..."

Deena: Works for me.

Heather: Me too.