Orientation for Success in Higher Education

Orientation for Success in Higher Education.


This project aims to understand the importance of reflective learning within the Business and Management discipline and how a reflective approach to feedback and feedforward as an integral can inform and improve future formative and summative assessed work. Reflective learning is an approach I have used to reflect upon my experiences to analyze their actions. This project shall shed more light on how helpful a reflective approach has improved my critical thinking skills. A relevant model of reflection shall be used to demonstrate the essay’s purpose. Furthermore, the nature of feedback and feedforward will be discussed while elaborating on using the chosen model for reflection on feedback and feedforward. Apart from this, how a reflective approach helps to inform and improve future summative and formative assessed work shall also be discussed.


Reflective learning entails looking back at an event, which can be a former experience or an idea, and critically analyzing it. Reflection, by inspecting the good or the poor elements of that experience, assists students in exploring the experience and transforming surface learning into deep learning (Ezezika and Johnston, 2022). A reflective approach to learning, in addition to assisting the students in developing more self-awareness, helps students recognise gaps in their learning and opportunities for development (Sekarwinahyu et al., 2019). Reflection leads to a growth of an individual, not only psychologically, morally, and personally but also cognitively. The learner, using this technique, develops and clarifies meaning in terms of their comprehension and cognition, allowing for shifts in conceptual viewpoints as well. Graham Gibbs created the Gibbs Reflective Cycle in 1988 to give structure to learning from events. It provides a framework for analyzing experiences, and because of its cyclic character, it lends itself well to repeated encounters, allowing a person to learn and prepare from things that went well or poorly. It covers stages: description, feelings, evaluation, analysis, conclusion, and action plan.

After implementing Gibb’s cycle in my learning experience can be described as a fruitful one. I started practising the reflective method last year, after the Covid-19 pandemic. One of my university teachers suggested it, and it has helped me a lot since. Reflecting upon all of my experiences has taught me a lot. It has given me a feeling of moral confidence since I started indulging it in my daily life. After evaluating my daily life actions, I can reflect upon the bad decisions that I made, and I can make sure to not repeat the same mistakes. This has impacted a lot of my decision-making skills. It has brought in a manner of thinking twice before making any decision, whether it is a normal daily-life problem or a life-changing decision. After this, I have started analyzing my learning journey to understand my flaws and strengths.

Further, reflection helps me to conclude whether my actions in any particular situation were appropriate or not. Moreover, to mitigate these issues, I have started making a suitable action plan for overcoming my flaws. This has helped me to face similar kinds of issues properly and appropriately.

Feedback provides information to students about where they are regarding their current learning objectives to assess their progress, uncover the formed gaps or misconceptions, and take corrective action (Gonzalez, 2018). Teachers and mentors can give feedback, or it can be self-assessed. It is a very important part of reflective learning. The practice of feedforward is the inverse of feedback (Hill et al., 2021). It’s replacing positive or negative feedback with solutions that are more focused on the future rather than concentrating on what happened in the past (Marshall, 2022). Unlike feedback, the feedforward evaluation allows students to improve and avoid making the same mistakes they have made. Students can benefit from a feedforward evaluation by learning new and more effective problem-solving techniques (Budworth et al., 2019). By taking the help of Gibb’s reflective model, I have collected the feedback from my tutors, family, and friends in the description phase and have tried to reflect upon them to find out the positive outcomes from it (Adeani et al., 2020). Also, the feedforward I receive from people has helped me improve my performance daily. This process of receiving feedback and learning from it has helped me feel about the decisions that I have made lately. I try to analyze everything through that feedback which gives me a lot of room to improve myself. Knowing my strengths and weaknesses through the lens of others has helped me gain a different perspective on a situation that I have faced. A situation could be analyzed properly through the help of feedback which later assists me to evaluate the flaws which I need to improve or my strengths on which I can work to make it stronger. Summative feedback has always helped me conclude any particular situation or project that I am working on. Detailed feedback helps me know my weaknesses on which I need to work or my strength which can help me make a better future for myself. With the help of a feedforward, I try to make an action plan which focuses on how I can mitigate the mistakes I have made earlier. Implementing a plan is the best way to learn at any time (Markkanen et al., 2020).

As per the above context, it can be concluded that reflecting on the feedback and feedforward has an enormous contribution to my personal as well as academic growth. Likewise, this habit can also ensure a better future for me. My teachers, family members, and friends who have observed my progression and provided me with their valuable feedback should be acknowledged for that. This process of constantly reflecting upon each feedback that I receive will help me find the weaknesses and flaws that I have and to work on ways to improve them (Wolstencroft and De Main, 2021). The method of reflecting upon my mistakes has helped me improve cognitively as well as psychologically. This method of practising reflection on feedback will help me improve myself more when I receive future formative assessments. Concentrating more on how to constantly improve my performance while also working will be my focus. Having less room to make mistakes will help me in all of my academic as well as professional endeavours. Taking the feedback positively has made sure that I will look for improving my mistakes in future summative assessments rather than emphasizing the errors that I have already made which cannot be improved. My habit of self-assessing has improved to a much greater extent because of the feedforward that I receive. This has been reflected in the similar kind of situations that I have faced after the first time in a much better way due to the action plans that I followed. It has made a major difference in enhancing my performance and is contributing to further improving my future formative assessments. In addition to that, the habit of receiving daily feedback and feedforward has allowed me to grasp my level of self-confidence and motivation, and because of this, I was able to modify my daily actions, which resulted in overall improved performance. It encouraged me further to empower myself and prepare for future summative assessments with the support of my increased cognitive abilities.


Feedback and feedforward play an important role in an individual’s life, whether it is for their academic or professional careers; it is equally important in both. A reflective attitude to learning, therefore, plays an important role in a person’s life, helping them to recognize and correct each of their errors based on their prior knowledge. Furthermore, the discussion above has highlighted the value of feedback and feedforward in improving my future formative and summative assessments. Additionally, Gibb’s reflective model has been used to describe the role of reflective learning. Finally, utilizing the Gibbs model of reflection, the process of feedback and feedforward was addressed, emphasizing its importance in my career.


Books and Journals

Adeani, I.S., Febriani, R.B. and Syafryadin, S., (2020). USING GIBBS’REFLECTIVE CYCLE IN MAKING REFLECTIONS OF LITERARY ANALYSIS. Indonesian EFL Journal, 6(2), pp.139-148.

Budworth, M.H., Harrison, J.A. and Chummar, S., (2019). Beyond feedback: understanding how feedforward can support employee development. Journal of Management Development.

Ezezika, O. and Johnston, N., (2022). Development and Implementation of a Reflective Writing Assignment for Undergraduate Students in a Large Public Health Biology Course. Pedagogy in Health Promotion, p.23733799211069993.

Hill, J., Berlin, K., Choate, J., Cravens-Brown, L., McKendrick-Calder, L. and Smith, S., (2021). Can Relational Feed-Forward Enhance Students’ Cognitive and Affective Responses to Assessment?. Teaching & Learning Inquiry9(2), p.n2.

Markkanen, P., Välimäki, M., Anttila, M. and Kuuskorpi, M., (2020). A reflective cycle: Understanding challenging situations in a school setting. Educational Research, 62(1), pp.46-62.

Sekarwinahyu, M., Rustaman, N.Y., Widodo, A. and Riandi, R., (2019), February. Development of problem-based learning for the online tutorial program in plant development using Gibbs’ reflective cycle and e-portfolio to enhance reflective thinking skills. In Journal of Physics: Conference Series (Vol. 1157, No. 2, p. 022099). IOP Publishing.

Wolstencroft, P. and De Main, L., 2021. ‘Why didn’t you tell me that before?’Engaging undergraduate students in feedback and feedforward within UK higher education. Journal of Further and Higher Education45(3), pp.312-323.


David Marshall, (2022). Creating a Learning Journey That Improves Employee Performance. [Online]

Available at: https://www.td.org/atd-blog/creating-a-learning-journey-that-improves-employee-performance

Jennifer Gonzalez, (2018). Moving from Feedback to Feedforward. [Online]

Available at: https://www.cultofpedagogy.com/feedforward/


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