Reflective thinking and writing
How to think reflectively
Kolb's Learning Cycle
Kolb's Learning Cycle (1984) has four elements of a loop which you can start at any point, though normally you start with an experience:
Figure 1: Kolb's Learning Cycle
The four elements of Kolb's Learning Cycle
- Experience -doing it
- Observations and reflections- reviewing and reflecting on the experience
- Development of ideas- learning from the experience
- Testing ideas in practice- planning, trying out what you have learned
Example of using Kolb's Learning Cycle
You give a 5 minute presentation in class and received low marks for presentation style.
- Observations and reflections
You over ran the 5 minutes and kept forgetting what you wanted to say.
- Development of ideas
You spoke to your lecturer and the Learning Skills tutor to get some advice on presentation techniques. You noted down some ideas on how to prepare differently next time.
- Testing ideas in practice
You prepared your presentation in advance. You had some notes to refer to. You practiced delivering your presentation within 5 minutes.