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Gibbs' Reflective Cycle - 6 Stages, Benefits and Drawbacks

21 Aug 2023 3329 14 minutes
Gibbs Reflective Cycle | Global Assignment Help

Students pursuing their degrees in nursing have a primary motive to gain thorough knowledge in their respective fields. Obtaining subject expertise requires extensive hard work in theory and practice. Apart from this, they must conduct a self-evaluation to examine their progress. Reflection is a key element of such performance analysis. It allows one to gain an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. There are various methods that nursing students use for conducting reflection. One such technique is the Gibbs reflective cycle, which allows them to gain a better interpretation of an event. So, continue reading this blog, and you will find a clear explanation of the same.

What Is Gibbs' Reflective Cycle?

Gibbs' reflective cycle is a popular and structured method that allows students to examine what happened in a specific situation. It helps them to think systematically about "what to do". It is one of the most popular methods as it establishes a direct link between reflection and action.

Gibbs' model of reflection is associated with other people's feelings. But it is a great method to analyze an experience and learn from it. This method has been useful in improving personal and professional development.

In nursing, the Gibbs reflective cycle is conducted through writing. It helps the students simplify critical situations. They focus on a situation and consider the following pointers:

  • Studying the background information of an event.
  • Understanding what was done in the situation.
  • Knowing the causes of why something happened.
  • Analyzing: Did the reaction connect with past experiences?
  • Determining what you learned about yourself, others, or work.
  • Are there any limitations to the knowledge of the situation?
  • Is there something that you could do but did not do?

The above questions help nursing students know the complete story of a situation using Gibbs' model of reflection. It helps them identify areas of development and later focus on the progress. Moving further, let’s look at some important details about this method.

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Gibbs' Reflective Cycle: Unravelling Interesting Insights

In this section of the blog, students will learn more about this method. So read below and also refer to the Gibbs model of reflection example to understand the concepts in detail.

When Did the Gibbs' Reflective Cycle Originate?

The Gibbs model of reflection was developed by Professor Graham Gibbs. A thorough description of the cycle is given in his book, "Learning by Doing", published in 1988. The model provided a structured and systematic approach to learning from past experiences and events.

What Is the Importance of Gibbs' Reflective Cycle?

Graham established a cyclic nature to the Gibbs cycle of reflection, which proved to be highly helpful in repeated experiences. It assisted in identifying the patterns of behavior and determining possible solutions to improve performance. The six stages of this cycle apply to all kinds of situations. It studies the happenings and reactions. After this, with the data collection and analysis techniques, a framework of action is created for situations occurring in the future.

Why Use Gibbs' Reflective Cycle?

Graham’s Gibbs reflective cycle model is highly applicable in the following situations:

  • In nursing, to understand critical cases.
  • It is used for development in the professional field.
  • Gibbs model of reflection is used to conduct performance evaluations.
  • Highly effective in understanding the causes of reactions in events.
  • It is effective in boosting your personality development process.

Until now, you knew what Gibbs reflective cycle is, its origins, and its uses. After this, our experts will unfold and explain the stages of this model one by one in the section given below.

Students also read: Brookfield Reflective Model

The 6 Stages of Gibbs' Reflective Cycle

As discussed earlier, there are six stages to the Gibbs model. An explanation of each step is given in this section. So read carefully and seek assignment help if you have any doubts. So without much delay, let’s dive ahead!

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1. Description

The first section of the Gibbs cycle of reflection is the description. It recounts the events and collects data about what happened. Make sure in this section you do not state any opinions but rather focus on their whereabouts.

Some of the Questions You Should Find Answers to Are Given Below:

  • What happened in this situation?
  • When and where did the events take place?
  • Who were the participants and observers?
  • What did you and other people do?
  • Why were you present at the event?
  • What was the final outcome of the happening?
  • What were your expectations, and did they vary?

2. Feelings

The Gibbs reflective cycle in nursing emphasizes the feelings of the participants. It helps the researcher analyze the reactions of people under certain conditions. To gain knowledge of both negative and positive emotions. It will help you identify areas for improvement.

Students Should Answer the Following Questions at This Stage:

  • What were you feeling during the event?
  • What were your emotions before and after the situation?
  • What do you think were the feelings of another participant?
  • What do other people feel about the event now?
  • What were your thoughts during the situation?
  • What do you think about the current event?

Students Also Read: Kolb Reflective Cycle

3. Evaluation

In the third stage of the Gibbs model of reflection, you need to evaluate the situation from an objective point of view. You must assess what worked out too well and what didn’t go as planned. Note that you need to examine both the positive and negative impacts of the event.

The Problem Statement for the Third Step Is as Follows:

  • What were the positive aspects of the experience?
  • Did the situation include any negative consequences?
  • What things went well at the event?
  • Were there any happenings that didn’t go well?
  • What was your positive and negative contribution?
  • What was other people’s role towards the situation?

4. Analysis

Unlike Driscoll reflective model, the Gibbs cycle focuses on a thorough analysis of the situation. So, the first step is one of the most critical stages of the method. It suggests separating the what and where of the situation and focusing on the why. Draw from the literature review and gain professional knowledge by interpreting the happenings.

The List of Questions for An Analysis Is Given Below:

  • Why did certain things go well?
  • Why did things not go as planned?
  • What additional knowledge can help to understand the situation?
  • Can other people assist in interpreting the events?
  • Can any sense be drawn from the experience?

5. Conclusion

In this section of the Gibbs' reflective cycle in nursing, it's time to jump to conclusions. You have to summarise the entire situation and state your opinions. Also, highlight what you have learned about your actions. Lastly, underline some specific changes that can help you control future outcomes.

A Few Questions for the Conclusion Stage Are Listed Below:

  • What are the things that I learned from this situation?
  • How could this situation be positive for everyone?
  • What actions should be avoided in the event?
  • What skill development is needed to handle such situations?
  • What things could you have done to control the event?

6. Action Plan

Now, we come to the last step of the Gibbs cycle of reflection, which is defining the action plan for the future. The main purpose of conducting reflection is to improve and develop skills for future outcomes. So, first, you need to determine what you need to do if the same situation arises. Also, you must define a plan for how to do things and the ways you can develop yourself.

The List of Questions for the Last Stage Is As Follows:

  • If the same situation took place, what would you do differently?
  • What skills do you lack to handle such a situation?
  • How do you plan to develop the skills you need for the future?
  • What are the best ways to implement your new abilities?
  • How can you track and review the progress?

Gibbs reflection cycle in nursing helps students in the "thinking" and "evaluation" processes. The six stages allow them to study certain conditions. Using this, they can determine what, why, and where the events happened. This information helps them to focus on their actions and reactions. Finally, they can use this understanding to control the events of future situations. Moreover, before you start working, read Gibbs model of reflection example for a clear overview.

Also read:  What Is Rolfe’s Reflective Model?

Benifits and Drawbacks of Gibbs' Reflective Cycle

Now that we have understood the stages of Gibbs's reflective cycle in nursing, let’s discuss its pros and cons.

Advantages of Gibbs' Reflective Cycle

  • A simple and useful method for self-evaluation.
  • One of the most effective models in repeated situations.
  • It provides a systematic approach to experiential learning.
  • Gibbs model of reflection undermines other methods.
  • It helps in studying the actions, reactions, and causes of the situation.

Disadvantages of Gibbs' Reflective Cycle

  • It can be inaccurate in a specialized practice.
  • The model emphasizes a proactive approach.
  • A lack of critical thinking makes the method seem superficial.
  • It is tough for beginners to conduct the reflection without help.
  • The Gibbs reflective cycle model lacks empirical questions.

Understand the above merits and demerits in detail. Accordingly, create an extensive plan to carry out the method so that you avoid the disadvantages. Moreover, if you are a novice, get nursing assignment help for step-by-step assistance.

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Final Reflection on Gibbs Model of Reflection

Gibbs' reflective cycle was defined by Graham Gibbs in 1988. The description of the model can be found in his book "Learning by Doing". The method allows nursing students to understand a situation and learn from past experiences. It comprises six stages, and each step helps in evaluating the event. Scholars can understand the Gibbs model of reflection in detail by seeking assistance from Global Assignment Help. Experts will not only define the model but also aid in writing assignments on the topic. So, what are you waiting for? Resolve all your queries by contacting our 24*7 customer support.

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