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* Evaluation Researchers' Learning Circles

The AEA Learning Circles Fellows

In August 2008, the American Evaluation Association (AEA) put out a call  "seeking applications from those interested in participating in a one-year pilot project employing learning circles as an avenue for professional development among mid-career professionals."  The program has two tracks and was launched at a two-day training retreat  immediately preceding the AEA 2008 Annual Meetings in Denver under the direction of Dr. Riel and Dr. Purrington.

The goals of the AEA Learning Circle Fellows Project

  • To provide professional development for the Learning Circle Fellows as a group to understand the learning circle model and provide an opportunity for supported hands-on development of the Learning Circle model for use in a range of professional contexts. 
  • To provide support and direction as needed throughout the period of implementation of the new learning circle plans. 
  • To identify the viability of learning circles as an ongoing professional development mechanism for AEA and its members.

Learning Circle Models for Evaluation Research

The Learning Circle Fellows participated in three learning circles which followed a six month schedule to develop a model of learning circles to use within their professional work as evaluators.  Their projects involved planning for new learning circles to be held in later part of 2009. The overall plan, schedule of phases and some activities or outcomes are shared by some of the Learning Circles Fellows as the move into creating learning circles in their professional contexts.

Learning Circle: Empowering Stakeholders Through Web-Based Technologies
This learning circle participants are collaborating on ways to use the internet to empower evaluation stakeholders. 
Organized by Jenifer Cartland

Learning Circle: Nevada Evaluators Association and Turning Point Associates Learning Circle
The NEA-TPI Learning Circle connected six to eight members of the Nevada Evaluators Association who were interested in gaining insight about and working collaboratively with other Nevada mid-career evaluators to address a questions about what constitutes credible evidence in the health, human service and educational contexts.
Organized by Deborah Loesch-Griffin
Learning Circle:
James Bell Associates Learning Circle with Office of Family Assistance Grantees
This learning circle is provided to evaluation staff from organizations receiving grant funding from the Administration for Children and Families , Office of Family Assistance, who are involved in ongoing technical assistance efforts with James Bell Associates.
Organized by
Matthew Shepherd

Learning Circle: Evaluation Network of the Missouri River Basin
This learning circle was created to facilitate launching and sustaining a collaborative organization of professional evaluators that will seek to become a local affiliate of the American Evaluation Association.
Organized by Bob Pawloski
This learning circle was facilitated to assist individuals in mastering the Six Sigma Green Belt body of knowledge (via certification) and increase ICFI's corporate process improvement capability and capacity.
Organized by Jennifer Dewey

Learning Circle:  Collaborative Writing, Shared Learning
This example is a face to face learning circle organized to increase individual ownership and group support for writing papers on evaluation topics that were shared by an evaluation research team.
Organized by: Cynthia Tananis

Learning Circle: Culturally Responsive Evaluation within a Native Hawaiian Context
In this learning circle, participants from a Native Hawaiian organization will come together to develop, strengthen and extend the culturally responsive evaluation skills of the researchers who apply for funding from the Native Hawaiian Education Program.
Organized by: Anna Ah Sam

Learning Circle Lessons

As the LC fellows work on their plans they will be sharing their reflection on the process including  what they see as benefits and challenges of working in this model.