Idea generation is a cognitive process that plays a central role in inquiry learning tasks. This paper presents results from a controlled experiment in which we investigate the affect on productivity and learning from doing idea generation tasks individually versus in pairs, with versus without automatic support from a virtual brainstorming agent called VIBRANT. Our finding is that individuals brainstorming with VIBRANT produced more ideas than individuals who brainstormed with a human peer. However, an additional finding is that while brainstorming in pairs lead to short term process losses in terms of idea generation, with a corresponding reduction in learning in terms of pre to post test gains, it produced a productivity gain for a subsequent distinct individual inquiry task. Furthermore, automatically generated feedback from VIBRANT improved learning during idea generation but did not mitigate the process losses that were associated with reduced learning in the pairs conditions.