GIBBS Reflective Cycle
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GIBBS Reflective Cycle – What’s New In 2024

Life is a journey filled with diverse experiences. Some experiences teach us valuable lessons; some bring joy or sorrow, while others may seem dull. Each situation we encounter in the past contributes to our growth, resilience, and maturity, preparing us to face new challenges without surrendering. This concept is encapsulated in the Gibbs Reflective Cycle, which encourages us to reflect on these experiences, good or bad, and evaluate our reactions to improve our future responses.

People learn and improve based on their past experiences. Reflecting on what happened, understanding it, and determining how to improve the circumstances is crucial. This is the key to performing better in the future. This comprehensive blog post is intended for those who believe that learning comes solely from doing without reflecting on past actions. Stay with us from start to finish, and you’ll discover how Gibbs’s Reflective Model can help you understand your past actions, enabling you to become a better version of yourself in the future.

What Is a GIBBS Reflective Cycle?

Before we move towards the Stages of Gibbs’s model of reflection, let’s shed light on what Gibbs’s reflective cycle is. It is a cycle that helps people analyse their experiences. Moreover, it can concern any situation or scenario they have had while performing any activity. The primary goal of Gibbs’s model of reflection is to enhance the thinking of anyone so they will have an effective conclusion. Their mistakes will give them the strength and knowledge to improve.

Gibbs’s Reflective Cycle improves not only anyone’s attention but also the ability to analyse any significant task they are engaged in. Also, make a clear image for individuals about the mistakes they have made in challenging situations. After following the Gibbs Reflective Cycle, you will gain good learning to analyse past experiences and improve your actions for the future. 

How Did GIBBS Reflective Model Originate?

Professor Graham Gibbs introduced Gibbs’s Reflective Cycle 1988 model. The man who supports “experiential learning.” In his 1988 book, “Learning by Doing,” the model is introduced. The book drew in the top psychologists of the time. Then, he starts researching the model using various scenarios and actions a person would take daily. Gibbs’s cycle of reflection is the best way to reflect on the past and discover how to deal with challenging circumstances without giving up on them. 

Moreover, this approach aims to provide the right tools to understand “learning from experience“. It also applies in many situations, such as self-improvement, coaching, and mentoring. Today, this model is considered one of the best ways for people to understand how they learn from experience.

Why Is GIBBS’ Cycle of Reflection Important

According to Gibbs, when you reflect on your experience, it assists you in improving your performance both in the present and in the future. Besides, you can use this reflection technique on your learning to increase your productivity and the quality of work for next time. Graham Gibbs also claims that learning only by experiencing the situation/event/activity is challenging. Therefore, reflection is vital. Even nurses prefer to use Gibbs’ cycle of reflection while working with patients to identify their role in an incident and help them understand how it might have been avoided. 

The Six Stages of GIBBS Reflective Cycle

The Gibbs model of reflection consists of six distinct stages: Description, Feelings, Evaluation, Analysis, Conclusion, and Action Plan. Each stage prompts them to examine their experiences with the help of questions designed to incite deep and critical reflection. For the ‘Description’ stage, one might ask, “What happened?”. This questioning encourages a thorough understanding of the event and the individual’s responses.

Let’s consider a nurse reflecting on an interaction with a patient. In the ‘Description’ phase, students describe the patient’s condition, their communication with the patient, and the outcome of their interaction. Moving further, the ‘Evaluation’ phase involves students reflecting on their interaction with the patient. Consider how they could have done things differently. In the ‘Analysis’ stage, the student thinks about how their actions might have more significant effects. And how these actions might have changed the patient’s experience.

Lastly, in the ‘Conclusion’ part, students summarise their reflections by what they have learned from the experience. Also, set an ‘Action Plan’ for applying this latest knowledge in their future practice. 

Gibbs Reflective Cycle is a valuable tool for nurses and everyone to utilise to reflect on their past experiences and improve their practice. By using this, you can actively engage in reflection and identify areas for improvement.

What Is The GIBBS Model of Reflection? What AreThe Six Stages?

The Gibbs Reflective Cycle 1988 model consists of six stages, known as the “Gibbs Model of Reflection”. This model outlines the process for individuals and teams to follow and learn from different experiences at work. Here are the six stages and a brief description of each:

  • Description
  • Feelings
  • Evaluation
  • Analysis
  • Conclusion
  • Action Plan


The Gibbs Model of Reflection starts by objectively describing a situation or experience. In this phase, you will provide details regarding the context and individuals involved and any relevant background information.

For Example

In a recent team project, John was the project manager. There are five members in his team. Each has diverse skills and backgrounds. The project was to develop a marketing strategy for a new product launch. Moreover, the context was a competitive business environment, with tight deadlines and high expectations from the company’s leadership. Despite the pressure, his team was enthusiastic and committed to delivering a successful strategy. However, there were challenges along the way, such as differing opinions on the project’s direction and occasional miscommunication due to the virtual nature of meetings. Reflecting on this experience, they realise the importance of clear communication and consensus in a team setting.


The second step of Gibbs’s Reflective Cycle is about exploring your emotions during the experience. You will note both positive and negative feelings you had during the experience you are facing. Here, you must identify and acknowledge emotions because they are critical to a deeper understanding of the situation.


If you have a public speech, you might have felt a mix of nervousness and excitement. You were nervous about speaking in front of a large crowd but excited about sharing your ideas. Recognising these emotions, both the good and the bad, is crucial. It helps you understand the situation better and learn from it. So, please don’t shy away from your feelings; embrace them as they are vital to your learning journey.


In this phase, you break down the experience into two parts or areas- what went well and what could have been improved. Besides, you also assess the strengths and weaknesses of your approach, considering both your actions and the outcomes.


This stage divides the experience into two sections. Suppose you are working on your university project with your group. The good part could be that your team communicated effectively and finished the work on time. However, the area for improvement could be that you needed to delegate tasks evenly, as some members were overworked. 

Also, evaluate your approach’s strengths and weaknesses. A strength could be solving problems quickly, but a weakness might be a need for detailed planning. Consider not just what we did but also the results of our actions. This helps us understand what will work and what won’t. And how we can do better next time.


You are now moving towards the situation to determine the root cause of the underlying factors contributing to the outcomes. Here is where you’ll start to understand what happened by taking the details and the meaning behind it.


Suppose a student named Oliver didn’t do well on a test. To find the root cause, look at the details: maybe Oliver didn’t study enough. Or perhaps they needed help understanding the lecture. Then, we try to understand why this happened. Perhaps they were busy with other tasks, or the lessons required clarification. By doing this, we can figure out the real reasons behind the test result and work on solutions, like adjusting the study schedule or asking for extra help in class. This is how we make sense of the situation.


After analysing the situation, you must sum up what you’ve learned. This is where you’ll figure out what this experience taught you and how you can use these lessons for similar situations in the future.


When a team segments work, they should first establish the characteristics of each section. This allows for efficient team assembly and submission with minimal rewriting. Continually encourage individuals to identify their strengths. Lastly, periodically reassess group decisions to avoid falling into groupthink.

Action Plan

The last step of Gibbs’s reflective cycle reference is to create an action plan based on your analysis and conclusions. You are outlining specific steps to be followed to improve performance and address skill gaps. In this final section, you have to set measurable goals and define actionable strategies, such as a training plan, to help you implement the lesson learned and grow as an individual or team.


Following the Gibbs Cycle of Reflection, suppose you improve time management skills to enhance academic performance. An action plan involves setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) goals for study hours. Also, allocate particular time slots for each subject and adhere to them strictly. Use digital tools like Google Calendar for reminders and tracking your progress. This approach aligns with the ‘Action Plan’ stage of the Gibbs Cycle, where concrete strategies are developed for future situations.

Pros And Cons Of GIBBS Reflective Cycle?

The Gibbs Reflective Cycle of reflection has several benefits and drawbacks. Some are given below.

Advantages of GIBBS Reflective Cycle

  • A theoretical model is simple to use.
  • The procedure enables you to apply the technique repeatedly with various outcomes.
  • You gain more excellent equilibrium and more reliable judgement through practice.

Disadvantages of GIBBS Reflective Cycle

  • It reacts to situations instead of preventing them.
  • Some people think it’s shallow because it doesn’t involve deep thinking.
  • The model doesn’t have questions based on scientific evidence.
  • People who struggle to share their feelings might work with this model.
  • Beginners need guidance from an expert to use this model effectively.

If you’re new to reflecting and need help figuring out where to start, don’t worry. Several models, such as the Driscoll reflective model, the Era cycle, and Kolb’s experiential learning cycle, can guide you in your reflection process. These models can make reflection easier for you.


Now that you’ve grasped the Gibbs cycle, it’s time to apply it and improve. If you need help, our dissertation writing services can boost your grades. Top Assignment Writers is your trusted partner because we offer high-quality content and features. These include a free report on plagiarism, on-time delivery, 24/7 customer support, a no-plagiarism guarantee, and the promise of top grades when you take help from us. We also offer fast service to help you meet your document submission deadline. You can get an engaging paper on the Gibbs Reflective Cycle in just a few days. So, place your order now and see your academic performance rise.