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 All About Gibbs Reflective Cycle with Examples

6 Stages of Gibbs Reflective Cycle with Examples

10 Jan 2024


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Don't you think learning through experience is the best way to grasp a specific vision or concept? So, that is what Gibbs Reflective Cycle does. It allows you to go into self-introspection and analyze the whole situation. Thus, it leads to identifying your strengths and weaknesses. But the question arises: How do you prove the phrase "learning through experience" is apt to push you to learn? To prove this, J.W. Gibbs, a scientist, created a cycle in 1988 called the Gibbs Reflective Model. Its importance is primarily in the nursing sector. You can reflect on your thoughts and prepare your mind for future cases. Moreover, you can find the benefits of the Gibbs Reflective Cycle in teaching.

Thus, do not struggle with this crucial model of learning. Moreover, if you face challenges and struggle with your project, you can get assignment writing help from our experts for a smooth workflow. Furthermore, look at the further sections of the blog and get help to develop the knowledge through which you can gain familiarity with and understand the concept of the model.

What is the Meaning & Purpose of Gibbs Reflective Model?

The Gibbs Reflective Cycle is a model that facilitates reflective practice. Reflection, in this context, refers to a purposeful and thoughtful approach to exploring one's experiences and practices to gain new perspectives. The cycle involves six stages that guide you through the process of describing an experience, which we will discuss in the further sections of this blog.

The purpose of the Gibbs Reflective model is to offer you a structured framework for intentional and systematic reflection on your reviews. The cycle promotes a considerate examination of personal reviews, feelings, and moves by guiding you through a series of degrees from start to end. The goal is to facilitate deep studying, self-awareness, and continuous improvement of an individual. Ultimately, the objective of the reflective writing model is to foster a cycle of gaining knowledge, self-discovery, and growth via intentional reflection.

So, once the meaning and purpose are clear, you can move to the next section, which discusses the six stages of the Gibbs Reflective Cycle, along with examples for easy learning. Thus, have a look!

Know the Pros. and Cons. of Gibbs Reflective Cycle

The Gibbs Reflective Cycle is a widely used model of reflection. It has several advantages and disadvantages. Before we delve into these, let's understand what this model is all about.

Advantages of Gibbs Reflective Cycle

  • The Gibbs reflective cycle is easy to use and easy to comprehend.
  • By using Gibbs reflective cycle in any situation help you to become more proficient and also experience personal growth.
  • It helps you by making more reliable judgments through practice.

Disadvantages of Gibbs Reflective Cycle

  • It is a time-consuming process and takes a reactive approach instead of a proactive one.
  • Gibbs's reflective cycle cannot be used if anyone faces challenges in expressing their emotions. Thus, you may not be able to apply it everywhere.
  • It also does not provide much freedom on how various elements of a reflection are structured.

Knowing where to begin the reflective process can be challenging if you are not used to it. Thus, use this model because it can help you approach your reflection better. But, now, for better understanding, let's seek the example of it in different professions.

What are the 6 Stages of the Gibbs Reflective Cycle & Its Examples?

If you wish to get a thorough knowledge of what is the Gibbs model of reflection, then the next part can help you develop an understanding. The cycle starts with describing the experience and ends with an action plan. It is a continuous process. So, study Gibbs cycle reflection examples with all six stages individually for a better explanation. Comprehend the meaning of all the stages by taking the example of a group assignment accomplished after many challenges.

Gibbs Reflective Cycle with Examples

Stage 1- Description

In stage one, you must describe your situation in a complete way to get a better understanding. It must only include what happened and not on the analysis and evaluation as it appears in later stages. To get the description, you must answer some of the questions:

  • What happened, who was included, and what was the place of the event?
  • What did you and your team members do?

Example of Gibbs Reflective Cycle of Description:

I participated in a team project, creating a marketing strategy for an assignment. Indeed, my group was skilled, and of 5 members, but with time, I learned that our group was going through internal disputes. It led to mismanagement, and we were on the verge of missing our deadline...

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Stage 2- Feeling

You talk about your feelings and your thought process at this stage. It gives you the area where you can improve after going through a roller coaster ride of emotions. Ask these questions and learn from the example of Gibbs's model of reflection:

  • What were you thinking?
  • What were your and the team member's feelings?

Example of Gibbs model of reflection of Feeling:

Initially, I felt excited about the challenge, but as deadlines approached, I started feeling overwhelmed. It was a tense environment within my group. I was thinking of my mistake and was disappointed as I did not plan well.

Stage 3- Evaluation

Under this stage, you evaluate the issue. You must stay honest and objective in your approach. Each condition has two sides, so reflect your views on both the positive and negative sides of a coin. You must find the answers to the following:

  • What went wrong, and what went well?
  • What was positive or negative about the experience?

Example of Gibbs's reflective cycle of evaluation:

The selection of members was the right decision I made. The only thing I lacked was the ability to assign tasks based on their strengths and weaknesses. Instead of proper planning, I randomly gave the work. Finally, when I solved their dispute, I somehow managed to reallocate the work according to their preferences for a smooth and steady flow of tasks.

Stage 4- Analysis

If a question pops into your head, "How do you write an analysis in the Gibbs Reflective Cycle? Then, this stage deals with that. Rather than focusing on description, your concern must be its analysis and extracting the meaning. Draw the interpretations from the situation. Look at the questions to ask to understand the Gibbs cycle reflection examples:

  • What factors influenced the situation?
  • Why did things go as planned, and why not?

Gibbs model of reflection Example of Analysis:

It is now the time for me to analyze the entire situation to find out why we could not stand out as best. As a group leader, I lacked in the beginning with the distribution of work. However, it was the ability of my team that made them do their work brilliantly when they received their preferred role. We did not breach the deadline, but it could have been better if we all worked as a group and not as individual persons.

Stage 5- Conclusion

Just like Gibbs Reflective Cycle pros and cons, your situation can also have benefits and drawbacks that you can conclude. Hence, in this stage, you can summarize the knowledge you gained. You can even state the changes that you must make for future solutions.

Answer the following question to know what comes under this part:

  • What were you learning?
  • What skills have you developed from the entire issue?

Example of Gibbs Reflective Cycle of Conclusion:

I will always remember the importance of a group. It is essential to work together and develop team spirit in a project instead of focusing on individual growth. My leadership skills were refined, and I learned the importance of the management and organization of a project.

Stage 6- Action Plan

Your Gibbs cycle reflection examples do not end at the conclusion. The study of the situation gets the closure with your action plan. Here, you define your future reaction and the action you will take. It can help you understand what you can do differently to be safe from crisis.

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Get the answers of:

  • What can be your future solution to solve the issue if you encounter it again?
  • How will you apply what you learned in future situations?

Example of Gibbs Reflective Cycle of Action Plan:

Lessons are always learned from experiences. When I lead a team in the future, I will surely work together with a group and transfer the work according to needs. I understood the importance of managing a project to make it successful.

So, this was all about the six stages, with an example of Gibbs's model of reflection that you can use to explain your daily life situations. There could be many such cases in which knowledge can be applied. You can even use the Gibbs Reflective Cycle example essay in education. Break the entire scenario into stages to get a simple way of understanding.

How does Gibbs reflective cycle support professional practice?

Curious about how the Gibbs Reflective Cycle can be applied in various professions? Don't worry! We'll guide you through some examples, demonstrating its adaptability and versatility in different fields. Let's take a look.


An Intern named Henry had difficulty handling a patient. However, he thought of applying the Gibbs reflective cycle to enhance his personal growth and self-awareness journey. He begins by describing his initial reaction of him to the situation. Moreover, he continued with sharing his feelings and identifying negative emotions that occurred during the event. During the analysis stage, he realized that he still lacked skills and needed improvement in his own reflective journeys.


A teacher, Mr. Smith, was a newly joined professor who had difficulty in explaining a new topic. However, he discovered the Gibbs reflective cycle. By analyzing it with different stages, he understood that there were negative aspects of his classroom management strategy. With this, he developed a plan to implement these changes, demonstrating how the approach to reflection can improve and get hope for better classroom management.


There was a UK company where the project manager forgets to schedule a important meeting and due to this the company was bout to suffer some loses. But, to cover this up he tried with applying the Gibbs reflective cycle. Moreover, in the end he took an urgent meeting with the head and share his initial reaction and all together they came up with a solution.

So, these were the few example of using Gibbs reflective cycle at different professions. However, if you are still struggling, then read the next part and understand how our experts can help you.

Also Read: 150+ Best Controversial Debate Topics

Looking for Help with Gibbs Reflective Cycle? Contact Us

If you struggle with the concept and want to get the guidance of an expert team, you can take advantage of our services to improve your performance. You cannot ask your teachers or friends to say to them, "Can you do my homework?" But you can ask our experts about this. Moreover, you must retain the methods that the blog has talked about to handle the same situation if you encounter it again in your past studies. Still, if you are not sure about the meaning of the Gibbs Reflective Cycle, you can take the help of our team, where the experts can assist and provide you with the required knowledge.

Read more - Reflective Writing Template Examples with Tips & Structure [Guide by Experts]

Know More- Know All About Driscoll Reflective Model

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    • When did the Gibbs Reflective Cycle Originate?
      Professor Graham Gibbs originated the Gibbs reflective cycle in 1988. He also described the model in depth in his book Learning by Doing, which was about structure in learning from experiences.
    • What is the Purpose of the Gibbs Reflective Cycle?
      The purpose of Gibbs's reflective cycle is to improve from your past experiences. Moreover, it helps you learn from your mistakes and reevaluate the entire situation by analyzing it.
      • How to Reference Gibbs Reflective Cycle?
        To cite Gibbs's reflective cycle, you need to include the details of the work you have used for reading purposes. For example, in APA style, it would be (Jasper 2014). Also, while adding a quotation, you must add the page number.
      • Is Gibbs's Reflective Cycle based on Kolb?
        Gibbs's reflective cycle is similar to each stage of David A. Kolb's cycle, 1984.
      • How does the Gibbs Cycle Help for Making Decisions?
        Gibbs' reflective cycle helps each individual analyze their personal experiences analytically and in-depth. It assists in identifying how they can improve their practices in the future based on their past.
      • What is the citation for Gibbs' 1998 reflective cycle?
        Gibbs, G. (1998). Learning by Doing: A Guide to Teaching and Learning Methods. Oxford: Further Education Unit, Oxford Polytechnic.
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