Given a problem that has many possible remedies, students try to come up with many different ways to solve it. There are no correct solutions or even one best solution that the students are trying to find; rather, they are simply using their imaginations to generate as many possibilities as they can and in the end, vote for the 2 or 4 that they are most excited about.
This is the part of the design process when students need to be generative. In order to discover really unique solutions, students must have the freedom to explore a range of possibilities. By collecting all these ideas students have more choices of how to proceed.
All members of the group should be able to easily see a common work surface; Whiteboards, 3m pads, or large pieces of paper work well.
Choose one or two of the students to capture all the ideas. Have the capturers write the question or problem the group is trying to solve on the top of the work surface.
All students then say out loud ways to solve the problem. The capturers must write down each idea. The point is to get as many ideas out on the work surface so students are encouraged to mention any solutions that come to mind, especially the ones that seem infeasible.
After the brainstorm, students should vote on 2 to 3 ideas to continue to work on.