How to share private repositories with Teaching Assistants

The title says it all. I have 2 TAs. I’d like to use Github Classroom to share some private workspace (repos) with them. I believe that I could share a repo with them by creating a Team Assignment and forming a “staff” team. But this doesn’t seem very direct. Does Github Classroom provide a way for an instructor to simply create a private repo that is shared with particular people?
Bob Muller

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:wave: hi @dogfishbar.

  1. Set up an organization in GitHub.
  2. Give the TAs access as owners of that org.
  3. When you set up a Classroom, you can add a TA. (See screenshot).


  1. Have an excellent semester with your course team.

Is it possible to do something similar but without adding the TA as an owner of the organization? It seems that an owner could unintentionally delete the entire organization.


Unfortunately, at this time, to have access to all student repositories within an organization, the TA would need to be an owner of the organization.

If you give students admin permissions for a repository, they could theoretically add the TA as a collaborator, which could be an alternative, but would require every student to do this manually and it would not be an ideal situation for a TA.

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I see, that is unfortunate, but could suggest a direction for improvement.
Thanks for your answer!

I’m looking for the answer to this question too.
We would like our teaching assistants to be able to view / fork students’ works to add corrections when needed but we do not want them to have the access to “delete” or “modify the repo”

Have you found a solution to this?

In our campus, teaching assistants are made owners as suggested here, however, we find this a bit risky as owners will have the power to modify and delete items in the repository.

Is there the possibility of giving the teaching assistants “viewing only” access? What I mean is that it is necessary for the teaching assistants to be able to - (1) See students’ work. (2) See the activities in the repo… But, there is no need for them to modify the repo in any way and in fact, we would prefer that they do not have this type of access.

Is there an existing feature that allows this limitation of access? Or will there be a feature on the way?

Hi @ShantiRoseCodes

If you set the base permissions of the organization to Read, then any member of the organization will have by default Read access to any repo, private ones included.

This will allow your TA’s to review the code hosted in private repos, such as those created by GHC, without the risk to be able to perform destructive operations and without the need for being owners.

By contrast, students won’t be members but rather outside collaborators of the org. Therefore, each student will have access only to their private assignment repo.

Thank you, Ugo! This definitely sounds like something we can do. Did this step affect the student experience in any way? Are there challenges in setting this up that we would need to be aware of?

Again, thank you for sharing your experience.

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I’m using this approach in our org where we do employ GHC for managing audition projects for evaluating candidates. Everything works smoothly.

The students’ experience won’t change and there’s no particular care to be taken from your side.