Michelle Searle smiling in the hallway

Michelle Searle

Associate Professor of Educational Evaluation


Graduate Supervisor

Educational Evaluation

People Directory Affiliation Category

Dr. Searle holds a PhD in curriculum with a focus on assessment and evaluation. She has received the Credentialed Evaluator (CE) designation from the Canadian Evaluation Society and she is also a member of the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT). Michelle has experience leading research and evaluation teams in the fields of education and health. Her research focuses on increasing the usefulness of program evaluation through a focus on collaborative evaluation approaches and innovative forms of knowledge dissemination that enhance capacity within organizations. She is skilled at using complementary methods drawn from qualitative and quantitative approaches to provide strong evidence for the convergence and collaboration of program findings. By using mixed and multiple methods that are often infused with Arts, Michelle gains a deeper understanding of the phenomena under study and uses this knowledge to inform policy, practice and scholarship.

In addition to being a nationally funded scholar, Dr. Searle’s scholarship in the field of evaluation has been recognized with awards from both the American Evaluation Association and Canadian Evaluation Association. As a researcher-practitioner, Dr. Searle has gained experience working at local, national and international levels. At all of these levels, her goal is to promote the systematic inquiry for the purposes of data-informed decision-making. Five recent projects have included:

  1. Inquiry into the impacts and possibilities of educational technology across multiple school districts in Ontario;
  2. Assessing the effectiveness of Math programming for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Ontario and Alberta;
  3. Investigating how developmental (DE) and collaborative approaches to evaluation (CAE) inform the creation of an online program across two university contexts;
  4. Research into teacher professional learning from international service programs in Tanzania, Peru and the Unites States; and
  5. Assessing pathways to educational leadership in one district in Ontario.

As a researcher and evaluator, she is guided by two decades of experiences as a classroom teacher in international and local contexts. Most recently, she developed and delivered 15 courses for Pre-service teachers at Western University and Queen’s University. She also has experience working in Colombia, Spain, Morocco, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, and Canada. Across these contexts, she has gained experience working with different forms of curricula including: the Ontario Curriculum, The International General Certificate for Secondary Education, Advanced Placement, and the International Baccalaureate. Michelle has taught across multiple subject areas with large and small groups of learners in traditional, blended and online learning environments.

Research Interests

  • Program evaluation
  • Evaluation use and influence
  • Arts-informed inquiry
  • Knowledge mobilization

Selected Publications

Searle, M. (In Press). Enhancing Educational Decision Making: Arts-Informed Inquiry as a Feature of Collaborative and Participatory Evaluations. In B. Andrews (Ed.) Arts Research in Education in Canada

Kirkpatrick, L. C., Brown, H. M., Searle, M., Smyth, R., Ready, E., & Kennedy, K. (In Press). The impact of a one-to-one iPad initiative on Grade 7 and 8 students’ achievement in Language Arts, Mathematics, and Learning Skills. (Submission October 2017).

Searle, M., Kirkpatrick, L., Smyth, R. (In Press). Looking at the influences of technology on 3summative assessment. Assessment Matters

Searle, M., Elrofaie, A., Kirkpatrick, L. Sauder, A., & Brown, H. (2017). Learning about learning: Evaluating the impact of early implementation of a portable device initiative for all grade 7-9 students in one school district. Assessment Matters 11, 145-170.

Poth, C., & Searle, M. (2017). Editorial Introduction – Setting the evaluation use context, Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, 31(3), 275-283.

Kirkpatrick, L. C., Brown, H. M., Searle, M. J., Sauder, A. E., & Smiley, E. (2017). The Impact of a School Board’s One-to-One iPad Initiative on Equity and Inclusion. Exceptionality Education International, 17, 26-53.

Al-Haque, R., Larsen, M., Searle, M., & Tarc, P. (2017). Western Faculty of Education B.Ed. program: Focus on international education cohort specialization. In D. Petrarca & J. Kitchen (Eds.), CATE Polygraph Series: Initial Teacher Education in Ontario: The First Year of Four-Semester Teacher Education Programs (pp. 263-278). Ottawa, ON: Canadian Association for Teacher Education.

Searle, M., Merchant, S., Chals, A., & Lam, C. (2016). A case study of the guiding principles for collaborative approaches to evaluation in a developmental evaluation context. Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, 31(3), 351-37

Searle, M., & Larsen, M. (2016). Host community voices and community experiences: Tanzanian perspectives on a teacher education international service-learning project. Partnerships, A Journal of Service Learning and Civic Engagement, 7(2), 2-16.

Searle, M., & Shulha, L. M. (2016). Capturing the imagination: Arts-informed inquiry in program evaluation. Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, 31(1), 34-60.

Donnelly, C., & Searle, M. (2016). Knowledge transfer and knowledge mobilization in program evaluation. Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation, 31(3), 305-327.

Larsen, M., & Searle, M. (2016). International Service Learning and Critical Global Citizenship: A cross-case study of a Canadian teacher education alternative practicum. Teaching and Teacher Education, 63, 196-205.

Searle, M., & Kelly, A. (2015). Exploring the ‘Tanzania Project’ as an alternative practicum Experience. Journal of Civic Commitment. 23.

Searle, M., & Shulha, L. (2015). Why study program evaluation? In K. Vaidya (Ed.), Program Evaluation for the Curious Chapter 3). Canberra, AU: The Curious Academic Publishing.

Research and Evaluation Reports

Searle, M., Kirkpatrick, L., McKerlie, A., Smyth, R., Elrofaie, A., & Paolini, M. (2017). Grand Erie’s educational technology initiative: Evaluation 2016-2017. (Tech. Rep.) London, ON: Independent Educational Consulting.

Searle, M., Kirkpatrick, L. Holton, J., Smyth, R. Elrofaie, A., Paolini, M., & Paije Pierotti, J. (2017). Honouring multiple voices in AMDSB: Planning next steps with technology in support of learning. (Tech. Rep.) London, ON: Independent Educational Consulting.

Searle, M., Kirkpatrick, L., Smyth, R., & Elrofaie, A. (2017). The role of the resource teacher: A collaborative inquiry. (Tech. Rep.) London, ON: Independent Educational Consulting.

Barkans, L., Duncan-Smith, T., Swyers, M., Edwards, B., & Searle, M. (2016). Schools in the middle: Evaluating learning from professional portfolios. (Tech. Rep.) Brantford, ON: GEDSB.

Searle, M., Kirkpatrick, L., & Elrofaie A. (2016). Learning for all: An evaluation of coaching partnerships and perspectives. (Tech. Rep.) London, ON: Independent Educational Consulting.

Searle, M., Kirkpatrick, L., Sauder, A., & Brown, H. (2016). Next generation learning 3.0: Research impact report for AMDSB. (Tech. Rep.) London, ON: Independent Educational Consulting.

Brown H., Kirkpatrick, L. C., Searle, M., & Sauder, A. with Smyth, R., Ready, E., Henshaw, M., Smiley, E. (2015). AMDSB next generation learning impact research – statistical analyses for study 1: Comparing the achievement, learning skills, and attendance of students with and without iPads. (Tech. Rep.) London, ON: Independent Educational Consulting.

Searle, M., Kirkpatrick, L., Sauder, A. & Brown, H. (2015). Next generation learning 3.0: Research impact interim report for AMDSB. (Tech. Rep.) London, ON: Independent Educational Consulting.

Lam, C., Chalas, A., Searle, M., Shulha, L., Merchant, S., & Wearing, J. (2015). An evaluation of the Ontario technology and learning pilot. (Tech. Rep.) Kingston, ON: Queen’s University, Assessment and Evaluation Group.