Kolb Reflective Cycle
March 20, 2024
Author : Keith Morris

Want to learn about the Kolb reflective cycle to improve your critical thinking skills? Let’s deep dive into the topic and make this complicated concept easier for you! Kolb's (1984) reflective practice cycle is a framework used in assisting learning students in extracting lessons from their different life happenings. You can use it to keep your thoughts organized. Also, as the foundation for a reflective essay. Kolb's model has four steps that you have to go through in order for the cycle to start over and repeat itself. According to Kolb, learning means gaining abstract notions that are adaptable and applicable in a variety of contexts.

According to Kolb's hypothesis, novel experiences serve as the catalyst for conceptual growth. Kolb's theory of experiential learning operates on two levels: a four-phase learning cycle and four distinct learning styles. The internal cognitive processes of the learner are essentially the focus of theory. As it can be a little challenging for you to understand, it would be better to check a suitable Kolb reflective cycle example and know about this in detail before you start working on it. Scroll down to understand things in detail!

Understanding Kolb Reflective Cycle in Detail

Understanding Kolb Reflective Cycle in Detail

The idea serves as a guide for creating training interventions that are proved to be effective as it encourages both students and professors to comprehend various learning styles. When learners meet new experiences, they go through four distinct stages in the experiential learning cycle. By moving through these phases, students may develop a deeper understanding of novel experiences and get insightful knowledge that can be applied in a variety of contexts. So, without any further, let’s read the below-mentioned phases of Kolb reflective cycle to gain a better understanding:

Concrete Experience

Direct, hands-on involvement with a novel circumstance or activity is required in the first phase. This might be as easy as experimenting with a new dish or as difficult as picking up a new talent. For instance, you may utilize an application or a program to assist you learn new language principles, increasing your vocabulary, and practice speaking the language when you're studying it.

Reflective Observation

This phase involves noting the feelings and ideas that surfaced throughout the event, as well as examining and evaluating them from many angles. For instance, you may think about what strategies and tactics work best for you after every class and assess how you feel when you have trouble speaking or understanding. You come to understand that in order to learn more rapidly, you should concentrate on mastering the most frequent vocabulary and grammatical structures.

You also recognize that you learn best when you have opportunities to practice speaking and listening in a supportive setting. Ensure that you are checking a suitable Kolb reflective cycle example before initiating the writing process. 

Abstract Conceptualization

Things start to get interesting at this point! During this phase, students utilize their reflections to create links and more comprehensive ideas that aid in their understanding of the material they have studied.

For instance, you get to understand that learning is mostly dependent on your speaking and listening abilities and that immersion accelerates learning. You also learn that in order to maintain motivation, you need to practice frequently and make use of a range of tools.

Active Experimentation

This is the location of the magic! Students experiment with new ideas, trying out various tactics and techniques to discover what sticks, using the insights they've gathered from earlier phases.

Let's revisit that linguistic example one last time. You attempt speaking with native speakers and integrating other media into your everyday routines since you realize that immersing yourself in the language would help you acquire it more quickly (viewing TV or movies, reading books, etc.).

As you try out various strategies, you keep thinking back on your experiences and modifying your strategy accordingly, which helps you become more self-assured and get closer to your objective of fluency. This way, you can effortlessly work on your reflective essay and aim for the grades you deserve.

Illustrative examples for each stage

Illustrative examples for each stage

Applying the Kolb Reflective Cycle

Not only can you work on your critical thinking skills with this cycle, but you can even make your assignments stand out and be more specific about what you are trying to convey. Although it is understandable that you might be overwhelmed by information and need some time to adapt to this. Nevertheless, you need to be consistent with your practice and apply the Kolb reflective cycle in your work. Want to know how it can be possible? Read on to know!

Personal Development

By searching out new experiences, thinking back on them, and applying the lessons you learn to new situations in the future, you may use the experiential learning cycle to enhance your personal growth.

Professional Development

Employers may encourage experiential learning by giving staff members the chance to work on new projects, go to workshops, and take part in practical training courses.


Role-playing, simulations, and field excursions are examples of experiential learning activities that teachers may integrate into their lesson plans. The cycle may be utilized by students to evaluate their educational experiences and pinpoint areas in which they might do better. For better understanding, you can opt for Gibbs reflective cycle assignment help and learn from the subject matter experts.

Also Read: Why Use Gibbs Reflective Cycle in Nursing?

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When you are in university, you work with different priorities and try to do different things simultaneously. Now, working with the unrealistic expectations of modern education can be challenging. But, it becomes your responsibility to find ways to deal with things without overwhelming yourself. Remember, examiners and professors, do not show interest in the hours you have put into your assignments as long as the end result is not up to the mark. So, it's all about strategies. Therefore, it would be best to learn with and check out a suitable Kolb reflective cycle example to be more effective.

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About the Author

Keith Morris

Keith Morris is a certified nurse who retired as a registered nurse after participating in a WHO campaign in Geneva. He is dedicated to helping students score good grades in their nursing courses and are offered a chance to help the people and establish a better healthcare community across the globe. He works as a nurse at a local clinic with underprivileged children and provides assignment guidance to the students. Reflection writing, aged care, Gibbs reflective cycle, cardiac nursing, pathophysiology, etc. are a few to name from his area of dominance.


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