Error Sharing Assignments With Students in GitHub Classroom

I’d appreciate any advice that can be given.

I’m unable to share assignments with students in GitHub Classroom (see student error message below). The students are getting these error messages. The Code templates I’m using are fresh and new, they are private, and within my organization, but it still is not working. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Does the link between Classroom and my Organization somehow expire?


Does the link between Classroom and my Organization somehow expire?

It doesn’t. You can reuse organizations / classrooms as many times as you wish!

Apologies if you’ve done this already and it just hasn’t made it to our Classroom channel yet, but would you mind ticketing in to Support so I can get more information about the user account that is having problems? There could be a number of reasons which makes this happen - they have not verified their email and/or are flagged as spammy, there’s something amiss with their account, etc.


I already created a Support Ticket. I’ve been back and forth with them for a few days. No solution, no real progress. I think I solved it myself, and will report solution in a moment.

OK, in case this helps somebody out.

For whatever reason, the way I made new repositories in GitHub Classroom for the past two years stopped working with the first assignment of second semester 2021.


  • We are a GitHub “partner” school.
  • We have an organization: Yorba Linda High School · GitHub
  • I use GitHub classroom with my students. It’s great.
  • I create new assignments that have “starter code” from PRIVATE template repositories
  • My students were originally “Outside collaborators” to our organization

Everything was great and worked fine until January 2021
Suddenly, students could not accept assignments
They could join the new (second semester classroom), but assignment repos were not being created.


  • I made the template repository “starter code” PUBLIC, no go
  • I made a new GitHub classroom, no go
  • I made and remade new assignments over and over, no go
  • I contacted support and waited patiently for a week to see what they could do, no go

My suspicion was that it had something to do with the students being “Outside collaborators”


  • I made a new GitHub “test” account with another email
  • I made that test account a “member” of our “organization”
  • I made a new assignment using the same private repository template

RESULT: everything worked just fine.

Bottom line. If you have an GitHub organization and would like to have GitHub classroom assignments with private starter code, the students should be “members” of the organization, rather than “outside collaborators”.

Hey Katie,

FYI, Nothing support came up with fixed my issues with GitHub classroom, but this did:

BOTTOM LINE: My students were “outside collaborators” and they needed to be “members” of our organization…


@mreliotylhs, interesting! That shouldn’t be the case so were are going to dig into this a bit later today to see what’s going on. I’ll update you here with any info we find.

Yes, it is interesting. I can confirm that yesterday, once my students joined the Yorba Linda High School organization, and switched from “outside collaborators” to “members”, their repositories worked again. They were able to access a private repository I was using in GitHub Classroom.

Specifically this classroom:


The one remaining issue is that I have a student (Angel P.) who appears multiple times in the assignment list when he was trying to “accept” this assignment:

Student name and account ID redacted for privacy. All five of his links go to the same REPO:

The outside collaborator status has something to do with the assignment type, right? I usually set up group assignments - in this scenario all the students were automatically made members of the organization. But for individual assignments, they just end up being outside collaborators. Why is that the case?

The outside collaborator status has something to do with the assignment type, right?

That’s a good point. I use individual assignments across the board. However, I also had my students originally set up their own (outside) accounts at the beginning of the school year.

As far as the issues I’ve been having, I made the students “members” of the organization, and my issues went away.


We talked to the internal team who owns this area of GitHub and we are working with them to get a PR together to fix this. For now, you are right, that adding folks as members will be a workaround to this but this should be fixed within the next few days and you won’t have to use that workaround! I’ll update this thread when it’s been deployed.

Y’all are correct about assignment types as well. For individual assignments we add students as outside collaborators to the repo and for group assignments we add students as members!


I just wanted to put in an update! This issue has now been patched. Students outside the organization can now accept assignments.

Sorry for the disruptions this caused.

Great of you to solve this problem. Thank you.