There are many forms and intentions for assessment in a learning setting. Most students are programmed within systems that use either criterion (measured against a fixed yardstick of desired performance of skills or tasks), or normative (based on the average student performance, fostering a level of competition) assessment, with the outcome being a summative assessment (grade).
At EEI, there is the attempt to find a balance between more standard assessment strategies, with a particular emphasis on formative or self-referenced (ipsative) assessment, intended to assist learning, not offer a judgment or pronouncement. Formative assessment is based on the idea of supporting students in identifying where they currently sit and finding the next steps to further their learning. This comes about through integrating on-going assessment as part of the learning process, where the learner is involved throughout, offered frequent feedback, with self and peer assessment figuring significantly, and is not solely judged by faculty at the completion of a unit or course. Formative assessment is notable in that it places agency in the hands of students and communicates a shift in values and locus of control from learning from powerful experts, to the individual and learning community. Rather than being competitive, students learn to support and help direct one another towards personally and collectively identified goals.