Group Brainstorm

Assigned: January 28
Groups Formed: Tuesday, February 2
Due: Before class on Tuesday, February 9

In this assignment, you will first form your project group. Then you will use the brainstorming method you learned in class to develop your group project idea. You should conduct at least one one-hour brainstorming session with your group members. You will report the complete set of ideas that your group generated, and then report the final project idea. Note that you will have time in class on Feb. 4th to start the brainstorming. We expect you to meet outside of class as well to complete the assignment.

This assignment is 5% of your overall grade, which has been broken down into 20 points for grading. The breakdown of points is discussed below.

What to Do:

  1. Form your project group
  2. Send me an e-mail describing your group by February 2
  3. Conduct a brainstorming session with your group to develop project ideas
  4. Write a brief report about your brainstorm, including a set of all of the ideas that you generated

Step 1: Form Your Group
You must form a project team of 3-4 students from the class. One of the goals in forming your groups should be to maximize the diversity of experience present in your group. Specifically, your team should consist of at least one person with some programming background and at least one non-programmer.

I will act as match-maker for people who cannot find groups. Send me an e-mail ( as early as possible so that I can help assemble groups.

Note about ISchool Masters Final Project Groups: You are welcome to continue your final project in this class, provided that there is a user interface component to your project that will benefit from each of the upcoming project assignments. Final Project Groups are not subject to the same restrictions on diversity and size, however you must still send me the names of your group members. If you have questions about this, please talk to me.

Step 2: Send Me An E-mail
Once you have formed your group, one member of your should send an e-mail to me ( containing the names of your group members and a short paragraph describing the diversity of your group.

Final project groups should include a paragraph about why their project makes sense in the context of the course.

Step 3: Conduct a Brainstorming Session
You will have time in class on February 4th to brainstorm, but we also expect you to meet outside of class to complete the assignment. Use the principles of brainstorming discussed in the Kelley reading and described in class.

Step 4: Write a Brief Report
This assignment will be graded on the basis of the report that you turn in describing the results of your brainstorm. Your report should have the following outline:

  1. Brainstorm: A set of at least 20 numbered ideas (preferably many more) that you came up with during your brainstorming sessions.
  2. Idea Selection: A description of the criteria that you used when selecting an idea and how those criteria led you to choose the idea that you did.
  3. Description of your Chosen Project Idea:
    • Target User Group
    • Project Description
    • What needs will be addressed by this project?
    • What is novel/creative about your project idea?

Grading Breakdown:

Brainstorm and Idea Selection (10 pts)
This will depend on how many ideas you generated, how creative they were, whether there was evidence of build/jump in the list, etc. We will also examine how your group selected the idea you will address this semester.

Target Users (2 pts), Project Description (2 pts), Novelty/Creativity (6 pts)
Your score will be based on the quality of the description, using similar criteria to the Individual Project Proposal. Spend some time thinking/explaining about how your project will benefit people. We will also be looking for ideas that go beyond simple extensions to ideas that already exist.

How to Turn In:
First, create a Wiki page for your group. Visit front page of the course wiki and create a bullet with your group name in the list of groups. Create a new page on the wiki for your group and link your group name to the new page.

Please fill out your group page, based on the Example Group.

From your group page, create a new page for your Group Brainstorm assignment. You will probably want to call this page something like "<GroupName>GroupBrainstorm" to ensure that the page is unique. Paste the text for your written report directly into your new page and embed any sketch images that you may have.

Finally, link this new page to the Group Brainstorm page. After adding an entry to the bulleted list on that page, link that entry to the unique name that you picked for your assignment page in the step above.

If you have questions, please don't hesitate to ask.