Classroom for a software development class?

Hi, I am trying to figure out how to use GitHub for an advanced programming/software design course. I have a number of questions

  1. Where is the documentation/tutorial? I like to read about capabilities in an organized way so I am having problems because I can’t find anything. It doesn’t help that when I first log in, Classroom tries to walk me through the process without any explanations, and it doesn’t work - I can’t make it create anything.
  2. Classroom seems to be more of a Blackboard replacement. I don’t really want that - we use Blackboard and it is fine. I want students to learn the basics of using Git. I don’t really want them to deal with “assignments” - I want them to work with Git in the normal way. Is this possible under Classroom?
  3. If I don’t use Classroom though, then I think I am stuck with creating a repo per student per assignment, which also sounds bad.

So for those of you teaching programming courses, does Classroom help you create repos? And does it give students access to regular Git or does it put a Blackboardy interface on top?

And WHERE is the documentation???



Hello bkmackellar! Any luck with this? I’ve decided to use GitHub in a software engineering concepts class. From what I can gather, GitHub classroom is going to work like GitHub except that the repository is private and the repository does not get created by the student but instead is created when the the assignment is created. If anyone reading this has something they can add to that, please do!!!

Although I haven’t tried it yet, it looks like a repository will automatically get created for each student when there is an individual assignment and can include starting files and documentation.

I started with these tutorials and thought they were very helpful. There are others at

If you’ve come across any documentation that you think was helpful, please let me know! I’m also a big fan of documentation! :slight_smile:


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Others may find this useful: here is “lab 1” from my 2nd-year CS class. We use Java8 and IntelliJ, requiring students to install several things on their computers. This shows the student-side of interacting with GitHub Classroom. We’re now in the middle of the fourth week and aside from an occasional student who ends up with an empty repository (a known bug, GitHub is hopefully working on it), the GitHub side had worked without issue.

FWIW, we have weekly in-person “labs” meant to be completed by students in person, so the tasks are relatively straightforward. Lab 1 is an all-hands-on-deck exercise because everybody’s computer is weird in its own special way, and there are inevitably students who manage to skip steps of the instructions. We also have weekly projects, due late Sunday evening, which is where we have more substantial challenges for the students.

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