Student feedback templates

I started using GitHub Classroom in last week’s class and so far things have worked very well, in fact they worked much better than expected. I have not provided feedback on the students’ submissions yet as so far not all students have finished the task. I am looking for a way of giving feedback easier (there will be about 70 students).

I thought I saw a post here where someone wrote about feedback templates, but I wasn’t able to find this post again. In my memory it featured an easy to use table, but since I can’t find it anymore I fear I might have remembered wrong.

Is there any advise on how to simplify student feedback with templates? My students will have to do many small tasks, so there will be a lot of feedback to give and anything to simplify this would be very appreciated.

Thank you for your help.


It depends on what kind of assignments you are using and what kind of feedback you want to provide.
As for me for simple programming assignments I am using issue system. If assignment is done perfectly, I just create one issue with text: “Perfect: 10/10”. Otherwise, if there are some mistakes, I am creating issues for every single mistake right from the code-view on the github like this:


And in this issue I describe what is wrong here and how it should be done.

Also, I am using TravisCI/Appveyor to make sure that students provide at least compilable projects.


I use a Firefox add-on called Clippings (plus the equivalent for Chrome). It lets you save and manage commonly used chunks of text, and then easily add them to your feedback by right clicking. I typically add several new chunks per homework, with comments specific to that homework.

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I saw a specific way of providing feedback templates. Maybe I will find it again.

@d-makarenko that’s a great idea. I just tried it with one student, but as they haven’t used GitHub before the student didn’t realise that an issue has been opened. I will check notifications settings for them and try assigning the issues to them - in any case this looks very promising. Thank you very much.

@chrisokasaki I should look into this, I haven’t used this add-on before, but it sounds like it would make leaving comments much easier. Thanks.

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@d-makarenko I did not know about that, thanks!

Note that you can use github saved replies to save text chunks.


Thank you for these great suggestions.

I am currently experimenting with @d-makarenko’s Open New Issue way of giving feedback, using @josemvidal’s saved replies suggestion, and with leaving comments on the last commit.

I am currently thinking that I will…

  • …use Open New Issues to make the students aware of mistakes. I will assign the issue to them so that they get a notification.
  • …use comments on the last commit to tell the students if their work was good. I will @ them so that they get a notification.
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Hi @memm74.

We describe our assignments in the for each assignment in our Intro to Python programming course and also suggest that the students provide answers the questions in the assignment in the file for their repos. The grading is then done and we leave comments at the end of the with their grade and any explanation of what went wrong. It isn’t necessarily the most elegant solution, but the students can easily find their grades that way. You can see an example assignment at


I think by the time I will run a GitHub supported class for the second time it will be very different - there are so many good ideas here. Thank you all for sharing your practice. So far things with GitHub are going so well, I am very much considering using GitHub later this year for another module that I hadn’t planned to use with GitHub before.

@davewhipp Thank you for showing your example. I do something similar with files, here is an example
I really like the bit about answering questions in your file. I would love to do that on my modules, but in recent years we had a few changes regarding formative and summative assessments and what and how often we can assess the students. I’ll need to explore whether I can do something similar while complying with our new rules.

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