Brainstorming Dr. Shelley Howell, UTSA Teaching and Learning Services

Ways of Knowing

  • Sense perception
  • Language (books, oral stories)
  • Reason (logic)
  • Emotion
  • Memory
  • Intuition (gut feelings)
  • Faith
  • Imagination
  • Tradition (cultural)
  • Authority (experts, people in power)
  • Empiricism (replication, quantification)
  • Science (empiricism + reasoning)

How does brainstorming work?

The more the merrier.

Focus on a common goal.

Reflect on connections, implications, consequences, emotions, definitions, and how everything might fit together.

Start a visual representation of the connections.

Like this...

Or like this...

Let's practice.

Pros and Cons

  • What's bad about failure?
  • What's good about failure?


  • What is failure?
  • How would you describe failure to someone who doesn't know what it means?

Sense Perception

  • How would failure feel if you could touch it?
  • What does failure sound like?
  • What does failure look like?
  • What does failure smell like?
  • What does failure taste like?

Language (books, oral stories)

  • What do you hear about failure from your friends and family?
  • What have you read about failure?
  • What famous stories are there about failure?


  • How does failure make you feel?
  • What emotions are connected to failure?

Tradition (cultural)

  • What were you taught at home about failure?
  • What were you taught at school about failure?
  • When you were young, what were the consequences if you failed?
  • What would your grandmother/grandfather say about failure?
  • What stories did you hear about failure when you were growing up?


  • What does your religion teach you about failure?


  • How would you draw failure?
  • What image represents failure to you?
  • How would a small child see failure?

Authority (experts, people in power)

  • What does academic research tell us about failure?
  • What do politicians say about failure?
  • How do large companies deal with failure?

Empiricism (replication, quantification)

  • What happens if you keep failing at the same thing?
  • How do we measure failure?

Inquiry Questions

  • Who fails?
  • What do we fail at?
  • When do we fail?
  • Where do we fail?
  • Why do we fail?
  • How do we fail?
Created By
Shelley Howell


Created with images by jarmoluk - "library book reading" • MetsikGarden - "color desktop paper" • rawpixel - "untitled image" • StartupStockPhotos - "ideation startup entrepreneur" • rawpixel - "untitled image" • geralt - "loser failure board"