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What is the difference between guided self-assessment, assessment team approach, and structured learning self-assessment in reference to quality assurance in higher education?

Guided self-assessments typically refer to externally facilitated workshops or focus groups during which data is collected about an institution. The assessment team approach includes a specific, trained team of professionals in or outside of an organization that collects and reports on data. Structured learning self-assessments involve senior-level analysis of existing data to report on an institution's performance.

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Guided self-assessment, the assessment team approach, and structured learning self-assessment are all strategies for assessing higher education institutions. The “self” refers to the employees working in institutions of higher education, as they are the ones reflecting on their institution’s goals and growth. These assessments are extremely helpful to external agencies and reviewers who are reporting on an institution.

Guided self-assessment is a form of self-assessment in which staff members from the institution are led through the question process. For example, staff members may be required to attend a workshop or a focus group, in which they are asked to reflect on their organization’s work in a group setting.

The assessment team approach is an approach in which a specific team of trained assessors collects and reports on data. For example, the head of a department may collect data from the employees in his department, and then collaborate on a report of the data with a team of other department heads. The assessors can be from within the organization itself or external reviewers.

Structured learning self-assessment involves analyzing and reporting on existing data. Typically people who work at a senior management level reflect on the data and examine what it says about the organization’s performance trends.

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