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Gibbs Reflective Cycle Model

Gibbs Reflective Cycle Model With Examples

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Gibbs Reflective Cycle Model
 John  12 Aug, 2020  Wriitng Service

Gibbs Reflective Cycle Model

In the year 1988, the American psychologist and sociologist Graham Gibbs has published his model of Reflective Cycle in his book, namely, ‘Learning by Doing’. This Reflective Cycle of Gibbs encourages people for thinking systematically, concerning the experiences that they have during any specific or particular situation, event or movement. According to him, reflection on those experiences can be organised in phases by using a circle. This frequently makes persons think about the experience, activity, as well as any event in more details, making them conscious of their own movements and better competent to adjust alteration of their behaviour. Through searching both negative, as well as positive impacts of such an event, the individual can acquire knowledge from it.

Gibbs’ Reflective Cycle Reference:

The reflective cycle that has been introduced by Gibbs covers a total of 6 stages. These are discussed here.

  • Description of such experience.

  • Feelings, as well as thoughts concerning that experience.

  • Evaluationof such experience, together with such good, as well as bad.

  • Analysisfor making sense of that situation or the experience.

  • Conclusionconcerning what the person has learned, as well as what could have done otherwise.

  • Action planby the person that how he can able to deal with the similar circumstances in the future, as well as the general changes that the person might find appropriate from such circumstance.

This reflective cycle of Gibbs has been referred by many scholars, or researcher as one of the important model for leading the thought of any person. The model that is given by Gibbs for such reflective thinking is a good way to work by experience. It can be either the stand-alone experience, as well as a situation that the person goes through often, as an example, meetings with the team that he has to collaborate with. Gibbs formerly advocates its use in repetitive situations, but the principles and stages apply in the same way for the single experiences also. If done with an unrelated experience, the action plan of this cycle may become more general, as well as look at how the person can apply the conclusions in the future.

Gibbs Reflective Cycle Example:

Every part of the reflective cycle of Gibbs with examples are discussed here.

Description – what happened? When and where did it happen? Who was present? In addition, many other questions can be helpful for describing the situation in details.

Example: It can be explained by such assessed group-work written assignment then participants of the group should have to decide for dividing different sections among them. They should make a schedule for their assignment for the research, as well as they, have to discuss the writing style and many others. Therefore, they have to work together and should have to submit that with the prescribed deadline.

Feelings – what did you feel that that time or situation? What was your feeling after and before the situation?

Example: Before they came together, as well as realised that they may be done much work for such an assignment. As a participant of that group assignment, I was quite happy as well as thought we had been smart at the time of dividing the work between us. I had become frustrated when I got the portion of the work that was not easy for me. However, I had tried to complete the work. Now, I am feeling satisfied after submitting the assignment.

Evaluation – what was good and bad about the experience? What went well, and what went badly?

Example: In the group assignment, everything was good, and the participants produced the good quality of the work within the agreed timeline. However, one participant from our group cancelled his plan, and it created a hardship for us to complete the assignment. It contributed us to work positively and taught us how to work ethically and together.

Analysis – what sense can you make of the situation?

Example: In this group assignment, I think the division of the work among us provided a self-identification and self-strength. I have experienced working in the way before, as well as discovered when I am working by myself. I have enjoyed working in the areas that have matched with my strengths and powers.

Conclusion – what else could you have done? In this provision, the person can make conclusions concerning the happening of the total situation.

Example: From the group assignment, I have learnt many ideas, strengths, how to overcome any situation and many other things. Additionally, I will endure having persons self-identify their potentiality and strengths, as well as possibly even recommend the using of the framework with the longer projects or assignments.

Action plan – if it arose again, what might you do?

Example: If any individual assignment or group assignment is assigned to me, then I will not feel any hesitation. It provides me with strength and potentiality for next assignment.

Gibbs Reflective Cycle Template:

Reflective Title:



Description – what happened?



Feelings – what were you thinking and feeling?



Evaluation – what was good and bad about the experience? What went well, and what went badly?



Analysis – what sense can you make of the situation?



Conclusion – what else could you have done?



Action plan – if it arose again, what would you do?



Name: ________________________________

Date: ____________________________

Pros and cons of Gibbs reflective cycle:

The advantages and disadvantages of Gibbs reflective cycle are discussed here. The advantages of this cycle are discussed firstly.

  • It encourages systematic thinking concerning the phases the experience and activity.

  • It provides the opportunity for reviewing the several perspectives on the given experience issue or action.

  • It allows the practitioner for having a more balanced, as well as precise judgment.

The disadvantages of this Gibbs reflective cycle are discussed here.

  • The questions are narrow and require professional and experienced guidance.

  • Because of such lack of detailed questions in the different stages, a more elaborate model is required for pursuing deeper reflection.

  • In stage 2, the introspection required for frightening and intimidating for some as it requires an honest and open view of someone.

  • At the analysis stage, the person may choose for repressing and overlooking an unpleasant event that may not be helpful in this cycle.

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