The Four Fs of Active Reviewing

How do you review experience and plan for the future?

The four Fs framework was designed by Dr Roger Greenaway, an expert on training teachers and facilitators.

The idea is that individuals work through the four levels of this model, critically examine a situation and think about how to use what they have learned in the future.

The four F’s are:

  • Facts: An objective account of what happened
  • Feelings: The emotional reactions to the situation
  • Findings: The concrete learning that you can take away from the situation
  • Future: Structuring your learning such that you can use it in the future

At this stage you look at the hard facts and examine the sequence of events and key moments.

  • What? Who? Where? When?
  • What was expected?
  • What exactly happened?
  • Did anything unexpected happen? What was surprising?
  • Did anything very predictable happen?
  • What was most memorable/different/interesting?
  • What were the turning points or critical moments?
  • In what order did the event happen?
  • What happened next? What happened just before?
  • What most influenced your attitude and behaviour?
  • What didn’t happen that you thought/hoped would happen?

State solid facts.


Here is where you describe your feelings in the situation which then guide you towards fully understanding the context and better ground your learning in the experience.

  • How did the situation make you feel?
  • What are some of the feelings you experienced?
  • What made you feel good/bad about the situation?
  • At what point did you feel most or least involved?
  • What other feelings where present in the situation?
  • At what points were you most aware of controlling/expressing your feelings?
  • What were your personal highs and lows?

Discussing how you felt can help you understand the situation better.


The third step is to start investigating and interpreting the situation to find meaning and make judgements. The main questions are ‘how’ and ‘why’.

  • How? Why?
  • Why … did or didn’t it work?
  • What would you have done differently/ more of / less of?
  • What did you learn?
  • Do you wish you had done anything differently?
  • Were there any missed opportunities or regrets?
  • What was the most / least valuable?
  • Was there any feedback?
  • What have you found out?

In the final stage, you take your findings and consider how to implement them in the future.

  • How will you implement your findings?
  • What can you plan for the future?
  • How can you use what you have learned in future situations?
  • How do you imagine using what you have learned?
  • What has already changed?
  • What choices do you have?
  • How does it look to use the findings?

For further insights then see Roger Greenaway’s book Active Reviewing.

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