“I” Statement Based Feedback

Consultative feedback is based on “i” statements. This feedback should be…


“I was able to follow your explanation even though I don’t know calculus.”

Realistic and concrete

“I liked it when you showed us how to use the instruments before you asked us to set up the experiment. This gave me confidence to complete the experiment.”

Motivating and informative

“I would have liked to see you provide a different kind of example – I’m wondering if an analogy would have worked here?”

Clarifying and questioning

“I thought that ‘officious’ meant bossy, but you used it as a political term. What does it mean in this context?”
Follow-up question: “Has this particular use of the term been clarified for your students?”

Ineffective feedback is often based on “you” statements. This feedback can be…

Subjective and evaluative

“Your explanation was good (or bad).”

Idealistic and abstract

“You should give a pre-lab talk—they really work.”

Demanding and self-important

“You should learn to use better examples.”

Confusing or ambiguous; can promote resistance

“Your lesson would have been better if you had included an explanation of the emergence of officious sites.”


Border originally adapted this information from the following:
Knoll, M.K. (1987). Supervision for Better Instruction. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice Hall, p. 211.

CTSI adapted this document in turn from Border’s manual:
Border, L.B. (2008). Lead Graduate Teacher Manual, Graduate Teacher Program, University of Colorado at Boulder, p. 199.