The Critical Friends Protocol


A protocol for providing and receiving formative feedback during the ideation phase of an instructional design. Provides a structure for feedback that allows for democratic feedback where all members of the group have an opportunity to pitch and receive feedback.

This Gets You
…to pitch a summary of your proposed idea and questions you may wish for feedback on. Once presented the process allows all group members to provide feedback to the pitch equally around the table. 

Keep in Mind
…the strength of this process relies on the group’s adherence to the feedback framework. It is incumbent on the group to maintain the protocol and allow all group members an opportunity to provide feedback in the time provided.

Critical Friends Protocol

  1. The presenter explains the project and shares any specific concerns for which he/she would like feedback.
  2. The group asks clarifying questions.
  3. The presenter can no longer speak but can take notes.
  4. Critical Friends:
    1. I like the fact that…
      In turn each member praises one aspect of the project
    2. I wonder if…
      In turn each member asks a coaching question.
    3. A theme or big idea I’m hearing…
  5. The presenter can ask clarifying questions…