Creative Spark: 7 Brainstorming Techniques For Your Next eLearning Project
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eLearning Project Management: 7 Effective Brainstorming Techniques To Consider

Formulating new ideas is no easy task. Nor is coming up with innovative topics for your next eLearning course design. Let's face it, creating unique eLearning experiences is more difficult than most people think. Even if you have a team of talented eLearning professionals by your side, the creative flow may still be stalled. Here are 7 brainstorming techniques that you can use for your upcoming eLearning project.

1. Step Inside A Learner Persona

Seeing things from a different point of view can be challenging but it also gives you the ability to trigger fresh ideas and cognitions. Break out the learner personas you've already created and focus on one at a time. Think of what the online learner might like to see in the next eLearning course. What learning goals are they trying to achieve? Which eLearning activities are going to help them absorb the information most effectively? Are there any related topics that they want to explore? Step inside their shoes for just a few minutes to look at the topic or task from a whole new perspective.

2. Mind Mapping

Mind mapping is one of the most popular brainstorming techniques because it works. It gives you the opportunity to put your thoughts onto paper. As a result, you may be able to see subtopics or ideas that you overlooked in the past. Start with the main learning objective or problem in the center of the page. Then create branches that lead off in different directions. Each branch is a thought or concept that ties into the core learning goal. The next step is to create offshoots from the various branches. Items may contain something as simple as a word, phrase, or picture. The point is to jot everything down so that it lands in the idea pool instead of getting lost in the memory banks.

3. Host A Brainstorming Webinar

Sometimes it takes a more interactive brainstorming approach to get the creative juices flowing. For example, a brainstorming webinar that offers your collaborators the chance to interact and exchange information in real time. Find the right video conferencing tool, then schedule a webinar for your group members. Provide them with a list of the general topics in advance so that they have time to prepare. During the event, ask thought-provoking questions to break the ice and get them on track. They're able to share their ideas via the comments section or you can invite them to appear on camera for a more personal approach.

4. Spontaneous Storyboarding

In most cases, you'll need to create an eLearning storyboard for your eLearning course design. However, you can also use storyboarding to brainstorm new ideas and topics. Begin with the learning objectives, goals, or gaps, then develop a rough draft of the eLearning course layout. Try to think of what eLearning activities to include and key takeaways to cover. You can even include relevant images and graphics at this point to get a head start. Another option is to assign a different topic to every member of your eLearning team and ask them to create their own eLearning storyboards. Later, they can share them to gather feedback and make improvements.

5. Become A Mischief Maker

This brainstorming technique can help you streamline the work process and prepare for every eventuality. Invite members of your eLearning team to come up with problems that you haven't even considered. Set them loose, and encourage them to devise the worst possible scenario they can think of. Then work as a group to formulate new and innovative solutions to these seemingly insurmountable challenges. Another approach is to ask your collaborators to analyze the situation, then figure out how the fictitious problem arose in the first place. What mistakes or oversights led you to disaster? What can you do to avoid them in the future?

6. Build Idea Bridges

An eLearning project starts with a problem. Regardless of whether you're developing the eLearning course for your own audience or on the client's behalf, there is always a dilemma to solve or a gap to fill. Thus, you can use idea bridges to figure out how to achieve the desired results and overcome the obstacle. Create a list of every pain point that the eLearning course must address. Then start devising a step-by-step strategy to tackle each knowledge/skill gap or objective. You can even visualize the process as a literal bridge and each plank represents the next step in the process.

7. Social Media Link Sharing

You might already use social media to encourage online collaboration among your audience. But social media sites are also great brainstorming tools for your L&D team. In addition to sharing thoughts and opinions in the comments, they can also exchange resource links. For example, a fellow team member discovers an article that features some shocking facts or stats. They upload the link to the closed social media group, thereby unlocking new ideas for their collaborators. Even one unique topic or concept could lead to an eLearning course that makes meaningful change.

A Word Of Advice

Some of the best ideas pop into your mind outside of structured brainstorm sessions. But your eLearning team may be hesitant to share them for fear of being judged or rejected. Thus, it's important to be open to fresh ideas and emphasize that there's no such thing as a "dumb" suggestion. Everyone should feel comfortable expressing their opinions and thoughts, even if it's through a private email sent directly to the eLearning Project Manager.

Try out these 7 brainstorming techniques for your next eLearning project to get the mental gears turning. In fact, you can employ these tips for virtually every stage of the process, from creating objective statements to developing more creative eLearning feedback methods.

Another great way to brainstorm remotely is to invest in a Project Management online tool. Read the article Top 10 Free Project Management Online Platforms For eLearning Professionals to discover the top 10 free Project Management platforms for eLearning pros.

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