Live brainstorm question

Teachers can lead students in real-time collaboration on open-ended questions.


The Live brainstorm widget allows students to contribute their ideas to a discussion anonymously. Teachers can hide the responses from other students while the brainstorming is taking place so that no ideas are squashed by quicker submissions or louder voices.
Responses and tools work in real-time to help the teacher guide the flow of discussion. The Live brainstorm acts like a question in that students can interact with it, but it is not marked because there is no right answer.


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How to set up the brainstorm


The Live brainstorm widget can be found in the Collaborative tools section of your content bar in Prepare mode. If you can't see the content bar in your Lesson, click on the Add content tab sticking to the right edge of your page.



When writing the question, you have access to the full rich text toolbar that includes options for formatting, special characters, and mathematical notation. Click here for a complete tutorial on what's available. You may want to help your students with some visual cues, such as writing keywords in bold or highlighting details with italics

There is no model answer for the Live brainstorm because there is no right answer.

Click the blue Done button in the lower right corner of the widget when you are satisfied with the question's setup.

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How students interact with the brainstorm


Students working through your Lesson will see the question as you've written it followed by the discussion board and a text box for entering their answers. When a student submits an answer, it will be added to the board. If you've set the results to be visible, then your students will also see the answers submitted by their classmates.

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How to review student responses

Teach mode allows you to view and manage your students' responses during class and control the settings of the brainstorm. As your students submit answers, you can drag-and-drop to reorganize them and remove answers that are inappropriate or off-topic.



When you are ready to discuss the responses with your students, switch the Open toggle to Closed and switch the Students can see responses toggle to Yes. This will let your students see how others responded, and it will also prevent them from adding more or removing their own answers.



Student names are hidden by default. Click Show names to display the number of responses each student submitted and to label the responses with yours students' initials.



In Analyse mode, Live brainstorms only display the question. Click on View responses to open Quick review and see each student's collection of responses individually.

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Live Brainstorm features

Teachers can use their cursor to move responses on the board, which can help organise the discussion and group similar answers. Teachers can also delete inappropriate or off-topic responses.


The right column lists each student in the class and how many answers they contribute, so the teacher can see who's especially eager about the topic and who could use a little nudge. Click on a student in the right column to highlight their responses on the board.


There are three class controls along the top of the board:

  • Live Brainstorm has a different board for each class (i.e. Class A won't see Class B's responses), and so the menu on the left allows to switch between classes.
  • Teachers can also control whether students can see others' responses. This is off by default to facilitate open discussion. Switch it on after students have contributed so they can see all responses from their classmates.
  • Responses can either be Open or Locked. Keep the board locked at the start of the session to prevent students from jumping ahead, open it during discussion for live brainstorming, and then lock it again when the class is ready to discuss the responses.


You can also choose to hide student names in the brainstorm, if you want responses to be visible but anonymous. This can really help students who would otherwise be anxious about sharing their thoughts in front of the whole class.

Follow up with individual feedback


Quick review is available for Live Brainstorm and isolates each student's responses. This can be a great way to follow up directly with the student for extra feedback and encouragement.


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