A slide with the title "What is alternative grading?" The main body is a graphic illustrating the focus of alternative grading: decreasing score and increasing achievement and feedback.
Graphic describing alternative grading

The goal of alternative grading is to apply assessment methods that separate feedback from the final grade of the course. In the United States, traditional grading is frequently based on a weighted average of points earned throughout the course to arrive at a formulaic final grade that is indifferent to the actual learning attained by each student. Most alternative grading systems do not assign grades based on these traditional percentage or points-based scales. 

There are many alternative grading schemes currently being used in all levels of education. One alternative system is specifications grading or specs grading, where assignments are evaluated based on a predefined set of specifications that are provided to the students with the assignment. For each assignment, students earn a passing grade if they meet all of the specifications and a failing grade if they do not. The goal of specifications grading is to decrease the focus on partial credit and increase the focus on feedback and the learning process. To support the learning process, students are also able to revise and resubmit assignments to earn a passing grade. The goals of specifications grading align with the general goals of learning from mistakes and feedback in laboratory courses. Additionally, laboratory work in industry and research does not earn partial credit for completion, it is revised until it meets a specification.