Learning circles for advanced professional development in evaluation

This article reports on a peer learning model trialled in Canada - learning circles for advanced professional development in evaluation -  and suggests factors that are key to its success. 

This resource and the following information was contributed by Benoît Gauthier.

Authors and their affiliation

Natalie Kishchuk - Natalie Kishchuk Evaluation and Research Inc. Montreal, Québec
Benoît Gauthier - Circum Network Inc. Gatineau, Québec
Simon N. Roy - Goss Gilroy Inc. Ottawa, Ontario
Shelley Borys - Public Health Agency of Canada and Health Canada Ottawa, Ontario

Key features

This article reports on a trial implementation of an alternative learning model: learning circles for advanced professional development in evaluation. This model is grounded in approaches drawn from self-directed learning, self-improvement movements, adult and popular education, quality improvement, and professional journal clubs. Learning circles bring together experienced practitioners in structured collaborative learning cycles about topics of mutual interest. The authors experimented with an evaluation learning circle over several cycles, and report on what we learned about purpose, process, and outcomes for professional development.

How have you used or intend on using this resource?

This resource reports on an experiment conducted by senior evaluators aiming to continuously improve themselves and their practice. It demonstrates that a simple method can support and motivate established evaluators in their learning process and multiply the effectiveness of their efforts in self-improvement.


Kishchuk, N. Gauthier, B. Roy, S.N. Borys, S. (2013). Learning Circles for Advanced Professional Development in Evaluation. The Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, 28(1), 87–96. https://evaluationcanada.ca/system/files/cjpe-entries/28-1-087.pdf (retrieved Aug 2020)

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