Using Classroom in a one course many sections model

(Gordon Inman) #1

Hello Everyone,
I’m a dept. administrator and new to GitHub. I’m trying to do some research to see if it is something we can use for some of our online web development courses. I really like the idea of being able to comment easily via issues on a student’s code and also having the version history of their work as I think this could help instructors guide students on where they can improve on their work. Then I found Classrooms and liked that it could give us an avenue for keeping a record of the student’s work for documentation purposes (in case of grade grievances and the like) since it would be housed under the organization that we would control. I was initially thinking students would just create a repo for the course in their personal accounts they have to set up, which we wouldn’t control and may run into problems for grade grievances.

Right now I’m having a hard time trying to figure out how to incorporate Classrooms into our courses because we have a different model than most schools. From what I can tell from reading the forums and going through the Campus Advisors course, the system seems to be great when the instructor develops and sets up their own course within an LMS and the courses are more synchronous (i.e. student all start at the same time). However, in our model we have one course that is fully developed with content and assignments where all adjuncts teach sections of that course. We allow students to start almost any Monday of the year (48 starts a year) so it is asynchronous.

Here is my general understanding of how the terminology is used within this system, please correct me if I’m wrong:

  • Github Organization == A course, like Web Development Level 1. This is not really meant to be the school organization as I first thought.
  • Github Classroom == A section of that course. I can create a “master” course that contains the lesson repos that will be copied to each subsequent classroom.
  • Github Assignment == Essentially the master repo that is then forked for the student to work on when they accept the assignment and a unique name is appended, like the student’s username.

Problems I can’t seem to figure out:

  • Course Rosters - Due to multiple starts per section the roster is always changing with students being added and dropped all the time. All sections can have up to 8 start dates and with multiple sections of 30-50 students per semester. It can become time consuming to manage the roster manually. Is there a way students can join a classroom via a link so they are auto-added? I see a link for adding admin to the organization, but not seeing one for students to a classroom. Or is there an API (LTI?) where we could link to the roster in our LMS so the roster is automatically managed by the system?
  • Assignment links - The assignment links are unique to the classrooms. In our courses, the assignment links are built into the course content so we can’t use these unique links since the link would be the same for all students in all sections. Would it be possible to have a master link that when a student follows and accepts the assignment, it creates the fork of the master repo within the classroom that they are associated with via the roster?

General question:

  • Education Partner - If my school submits to become an education partner, will that allow us to create organizations and classrooms without needing to be approved using that discount form? Is there a school admin dashboard where we could manage instructor accounts, classrooms, etc.?

Thanks for spending so much time reading this long post! :hugs: