Sustainicum Collection

Consus The aim of the project is to establish a regional science-society network for sustainability innovations in Albania and Kosovo in order to strengthen the connection and collaboration of institutions in the field of higher education, research and practice.

Resource facts

  • Independent of the number of students
  • Up to 3 lecture units
  • Internet connection necessary
  • English, German

Resource Description

Additional attachments

6-3-5 Brainwriting(Resource ID: 13)

6-3-5 Brainwriting is the most common form of brainwriting – a variation of brainstorming which combines free associating with individual work (which allows better concentration). The numbers stand for 6 participants who each come up with 3 ideas to solve a problem. These ideas will be rotated in the group so that by the end of it every problem will be commented or amended 5 times. Ideally a group can produce up to 108 ideas in 30 minutes using this tool.

This method can be used to solve complex problems. At first the group will be presented with a situation and has to decide on a common definition of the problem which should concretize and simplify the initial situation. “Mobility in rural areas” could be an example for such a situation. The group would then decide to focus on alternatives to individual mobility of 14 to 19-year-olds. Every student will then develop three solutions for this problem. This could comprise ideas like car sharing, party busses or group vacations and will then be passed on to the next person who will either add a different idea or comment on the first one. The limited time usually leads to a reduction of complexity. At the end, the best ideas can be presented in a plenary session.

Didactical description of the method

Starting from a situation which the group will be presented with by the facilitator, the first step as a group is to define the problem. For  the example mentioned before - “mobility in rural areas” - the facilitator should elaborate on the implications for the different groups of society (teenagers, retired persons, working population).

During the problem definition phase, the students could select one age group, for example the teenagers and then describe why they would prefer private over public transportation. There could also be more parallel groups. The facilitator should make sure that the students don’t already jump the gun and start working on solutions during this phase.

After coming to an agreement about the problem, the students start to individually work on the problems for five minutes. A form is provided which can be used to fill in the ideas. Then the form will be handed on clockwise and commented on by the next person. The facilitator can use a bell to announce the end of each round.

After five rounds, each participant should have his initial form back and gets five minutes to see how his ideas have been developed further. In the plenary, everyone gets the possibility to present the best ideas.

Necessary Documents/Materials

The facilitator should provide a written description of the situation. A watch and maybe a bell are also needed to announce the end of each round.

A form to fill in the ideas has been provided. 

Type of teaching method
  • Brain storming
Related Teaching Resources
No specific previous knowledge / related resources required
Topics of sustainability
Examples of situations:
• People in the western world consume too much meat
• Youth migration from rural areas
• Boost of individual air traffic by tourism and a globalised economy
Strengths of the method
Students will train free associating and will also learn how to intuitively find solutions.
Sources and Links

Bernd Rohrbach has invented this method in 1969 and it can be found in “Creative by rules - Method 635, a new technique for solving problems first published in the German sales magazine "Absatzwirtschaft", Volume 12, 1969. Page 73-75 and Volume 19, 1 October 1969.

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MMag. Nadine Shovakar


Shovakar Nadine
This teaching resource is allocated to following University:
KFUG - Karl-Franzens-University Graz


Creative Commons

Type of teaching method

  • Brain storming