How do use GitHub for authentic assessment


(Vanessa) #1

Community member @alexeyza shares how he implements GitHub for his very very awesome startup engineering course at the University of Victoria:


(Alexey Zagalsky) #2

The website for this course is just a normal repository on Github, publicly open:

This is very helpful, as our teaching staff includes three-four mentors from local startups or companies, and it makes it much easier to collaborate with them, the students, and the guest speakers we invite.


(Elliot Blackburn) #3

@alexeyza, do you find much student interaction the course material repository with things like pull requests for adding to the suggested reading list, or issues when they have general questions? If not, is this something you’re trying to encourage or are you using other mediums for this?


(Alexey Zagalsky) #4

Good question @BlueHatbRit .

In our course, there was some interaction/contributions via PRs, but I’d love to see more students interacting with the material and resources. I do try to encourage it — I specifically mention, in the beginning of the semester, that the students are encouraged to suggest improvements, corrections, and additions to the course material and resources (via PRs, Github issues).

Possible reasons for not using PRs on course material:

  • Some of the students may not be used to having the ability to participate on the course material
  • The course itself is quite challenging and demanding (with hard deadlines - no delays), as a result the students may prefer to focus mostly on their own project
  • In retrospect, I found out that in the beginning of the semester some students (3rd-4th year) either didn’t know how to do a PRs, or were not experienced in using Github (beyond basic commits). Later in the semester, the students do get used to using Github.

In terms of general questions, most of the student communication with the teaching staff happened over email or face-to-face (some over Github), while Github issues (in combination with Slack/Gitter) were used by the student team for communication and coordination among themselves. We (the teaching staff) did try to be involved through Github issues as well.

I think that other teachers here also discussed their workflow and repo structure, and provided great advice.