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This paper investigates why and how systems approaches can help in evaluating the design of new Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) as social learning platforms. It focuses on the prototypes created by the research project Virtualis, whose objective is to promote social learning on environmental concepts and practices amongst a variety of stakeholders. The paper presents the principles of systems thinking and practice that did help in formulating such evaluation processes. It illustrates how both a peer systemic evaluation process (within the research team) and a participatory evaluation process (involving potential future users of the ICTs) were carried out.