I love using GitHub for my courses. There’s a lot that’s great. However, I’ve found that during this fall in particular, GitHub Classroom has been buggy. Here are the issues that I’ve run into within the last two months, all of which are things that used to work, but have broken over the past few months:
As much as I’ve been successful with GitHub Classroom, I’ve started looking for alternative solutions due to the time sink and frustration level that my students and I have been experiencing. I’m just spending too much of my time fielding support requests from students that are running into these bugs. I used to use the teachers_pet scripts, which took a bit more overhead from me, but it was reliable and it did the job. Do people know if those scripts still work reasonably, or if they are bitrotting? Alternatively, are there other solid alternative approaches I should be thinking about? My key goal is to be able to make private repos for students to submit code, and to run autotests (i.e., GitHub actions) that I’ve created.
Regardless, my thanks and respect goes out to the GitHub Classroom team, who undoubtedly are working under very difficult constraints.
Thanks for the tip @lwcooper.
Just watched this YouTube video " repl.it for computer science teacher: how to create classrooms and build assignments" it has an introduction to repl.it classroom assignments but when I went to try, I found that the current user interface (November 2020) of repl.it for teachers does not seem to match what appears in the video.
What about RepoBee: https://repobee.org ?
That’s a pity : I used Classroom for years, very robust … and suddenly Microsoft appears ! Is it correlated ?
@wstomv I was unaware of RepoBee – it looks really great, at least from scanning the web pages. I’ll take a close look.
It is under active development (but already quite usable), and the developers are responsive to feedback.
I am an Amazon Educate Ambassador and I am using AWS Educate. I have 3 different classes using the AWS Educate model. I am also registered as a Github Education user but have yet to get going with it. I am sorry to hear about your frustrations! So far I have nothing but nice things to say about AWS. Let me know if you want to hear more about it. Don’t let Ambassador intimidate you, I am just a High School Teacher…
If you are an R user or feel comfortable using R to interact with the GitHub API, check out https://rundel.github.io/ghclass/. I’ve been using it for years now and we try to keep the package pretty updated since we use it regularly in the same way you describe – private repo, auto tests via actions, teams, etc.
AWS Educate won’t solve @dmusican problems. It is very platform specific issue…features that AWS Educate do not have nor plan to implement anytime soon. On another note, AWS Educate materials are excellent. I just wish the resource costs weren’t so high.
I am saddened to hear about these problems. I relied on Repl.it Classroom for the past few years and was crushed when it was discontinued. Our institution has licensed Repl.it Teams for Education with a site license and I am planning to use that paired with github classroom.
Repl.it Teams for Education lacks a great auto-grader. I was extremely disappointed with the version they first developed. There is a separate website that has a beta auto-grader, but it looks mediocre. My plan was to have all of the assignments live in Github Classroom and use the Repl.it integration to allow for beginners to easily code without fully understanding git repos yet. It is working well in my light testing, but I am hopeful to not run into the issues @dmusican ran into.