Examples of brainstorm structures include individual, small group, whole class and relay. With individual brainstorming, a problem or idea is brought up and a time limit given. Participants work independently within the time limit and write down everything that comes to mind.
After an individual brainstorming session concludes, the facilitator may ask participants to share their top ideas or thoughts. If a person is doing the brainstorming by himself, he can leave this material alone for a few hours or overnight and return to it with fresh eyes to identify common themes or the best ideas.
Small-group brainstorming sessions typically have teams of two or three members. Members discuss with one another how to solve a problem or how to expand on the given idea. One strategy is to use the first half of the time to write ideas and the second half to discuss them and add to them.
Whole-class (or whole-group) brainstorming entails people in a group volunteering ideas to be recorded. Relay brainstorming involves grouping participants in rows of teams. Each team has a recorder who does not brainstorm. The first member on each team gives an answer, and after that, the next member goes and so on. Helping team members is not permitted.