Live Brainstorming & Word Clouds

Tools for live brainstorming and word cloud are great for leveraging technology in the classroom to promote student interaction and engagement. Two tools in particular, AnswerGarden and Tricider, are effective in aiding instructors in simple, easy-to-use ways.


AnswerGarden is a simple, free tool that allows for obtaining feedback from a class, or for students to give feedback about a topic. It’s intended as a creative way of allowing a group to brainstorm topics in any environment. AnswerGarden can be displayed on-screen in a class, via mobile device, or embedded in a Canvas site for online responses by students.

An AnswerGarden example, showing a series of words in different sizes

A few ideas on how AnswerGarden can be used:

  • Brief feedback on topics.
  • Expressing learning ideas.
  • Asking quick questions about a topic. Avoid questions with potentially long answers.
  • General brainstorming.

AnswerGarden also allows for its results, typically represented like a word cloud, to be exported to other word cloud services, shared via social media, or embedded into a web page or Canvas.

Interested? For more information, take a look at the AnswerGarden website.


Tricider is a simple, free tool that allows for collecting ideas, discussing ideas, and voting on them. Users are able to discuss the good and bad of every idea collected, expressing themseves through audio, video, and text.

Please note, this video does not contain spoken words.

A few ideas on how Tricider can be used:

  • Discussing case studies.
  • Debating points and counterpoints of articles, current events, and issues.
  • Determining the best ideas for group projects.
  • General brainstorming.

Tricider can easily be used with smartphones or embedded in a web page or Canvas. It also offers additional features when a user registers a free account.

Interested? For more information, take a look at the Tricider website.

Questions? We can help!

Have questions about instruction, course design, teaching methods, technology to help, or more? Please contact the Center for Teaching & Learning through our contact form or by phone at (708) 974-5347.