Developers rarely work all by themselves, on a deadline, or ship something they’ll only use once (with no idea whether it actually works).
Wouldn’t students be better served by showing versions of their work, iterating, checking in on milestones and showing off the final product?
With GitHub Classroom you can set up the industry-standard workflow and free up your time to focus on teaching.
Classroom is a teacher-facing tool that uses the GitHub API to enable the GitHub workflow for education.
You create an Assignment with starter code and directions, send along one link, and students get their own “sandbox” copy of the repo to get started.
Set due dates, track assignments in your teacher dashboard, or integrate other tools like testing frameworks.
With Classroom, you can spin up your course on GitHub and move on to the good stuff.
Spend more time with students, less on setup. Students accept an assignment with one link, so you can get straight to the material.
Bootstrap group assignments in a snap. Invite students to a shared repository, and cap the number of students per group. Use the same groups over and over again, or create new ones.
More insight into student work than ever before. See when students accept the assignment, and access their work from the moment they start. With version control, catch when they get stuck and help them rewind.
You are in control. Students can work individually or in groups, in public or in private. Invite teaching assistants or graders to view the assignments.
Scales for large courses with ease. If you have a small course, Classroom will make your life easier and save you time. If you have hundreds of students, we have you covered: as many repositories as you need, and webhooks to integrate automated testing tools.
Works with your Learning Management System (LMS). Students submit a link to their assignment repository to your learning management system. Give feedback through comments in GitHub, but keep grades in your LMS.
You’re not alone. The experts on the GitHub Education team are here to answer any of your questions, and we’ve got docs, best practices, and a strong community of educators to help you migrate to Classroom.
Are you super-advanced? Do you want to build your own tools? We 💖 contributions. Please check out contributing guidelines.
Classroom is a teacher-facing tool to simplify the educational use of GitHub. Every student needs feedback and support as they learn to code, and using GitHub you can give them the right advice, in the right place, at the right time. Classroom makes it easier to use the workflow you love, with some automation and ease for student use.
Students use GitHub. They don’t use Classroom. Experience with real-world tools gives students a leg-up once they move on from school. Invest time in the tools students can grow with, not another third-party tool with its own learning curve.
Classroom is not an LMS (Learning Management System). If you need to use an LMS like Canvas, Moodle or Blackboard, we hear you. Students can post their repositories to your LMS. We’re going to stick with what we’re good at, which is helping people collaborate on code.
Classroom is open source. Git and GitHub are versatile with many ways to meet your learning goals, and we want to model the open source process that makes our communities great.
We welcome contributions aligned with the roadmap below and through answering these questions:
Anyone teaching computer science in a high school, university or informal environment. Folks who might also find Classroom useful:
In case you’re wondering “How does Classroom interact with my favorite app/my notebook/my LMS” here’s the tl;dr on how those pieces fit together:
Apps and content platforms
Examples: Codecademy, Skillshare, Udemy, Udacity
Apps offer premium content and interactive exercises. GitHub Classroom offers real-world experience with code. Classroom, as a teacher-facing application will eventually surface best-in-class content for top courses (notes / lectures / problem sets) but not produce original content.
Learning Management system/LMS
Examples: Blackboard, Moodle, Canvas. Google Classroom
Teachers often use a learning management system in keeping with student privacy regulations. Classroom has a lightweight integration with LMS ecosystem--students can submit a link to their repositories. LTI compliance and Google Classroom integration will make the app more extensible.
Examples: BlueJ, Jupyter, RStudio
Most notebooks have a Git integration that students can push to. Future iterations may pre-populate repos with robust directions on set up.
Examples: Chromebooks, Raspberry Pi, Lego
GitHub Classroom runs in Unix environments and Windows. Shared machines or lab environments are encouraged to use cloud-based environments, like Cloud 9. Integration looks like Git and GitHub pre-loaded + embedded in hardware.
Examples: Pearson, Travis CI, Circle CI
For GitHub Classroom, assessment is directly related to the real-world experience of being a developer: your code passes tests. Configuring folders in student repositories is a priority on the roadmap.
GitHub Classroom is a Ruby on Rails application.
New to Ruby? No worries! You can follow these instructions to install a local server.
rbenv install 2.4.2 rbenv global 2.4.2
Next, you'll need to make sure that you have Nodejs, PostgreSQL, Redis, Memcached, and Elasticsearch installed. This can be done easily :
script/setuplater on this will be taken care of for you.
apt-get install nodejs postgresql redis-server memcached. For Elasticsearch, follow the instructions on their website.
You will want to set PostgreSQL to autostart at login via launchctl, if not already. See
brew info postgresql. Redis and memcached may be setup similarly via launchctl or setup project wide by using foreman, described below.
Now, let's install the gems from the
Gemfile ("Gems" are synonymous with libraries in other
gem install bundler && rbenv rehash
If you are using Linux, configure PostgreSQL :
#unix_socket_permissions = 0777
su postgres -s /bin/bash -c "psql -c 'CREATE USER classroom_user; ALTER USER classroom_user CREATEDB'"(Change
classroom_userto the username that will run the classroom server)
Once bundler is installed (and PostgreSQL correctly configured for Linux users) go ahead and run the
setup script :
AIRBRAKE_PROJECT_IDthe ID for application in airbrake.io, if set Airbrake will be enabled
AIRBRAKE_PROJECT_KEYthe PROJECT_KEY in airbrake.io, if set Airbrake will be enabled
CANONICAL_HOSTthe preferred hostname for the application, if set requests served on other hostnames will be redirected
GOOGLE_ANALYTICS_TRACKING_IDidentifier for Google Analytics in the format
/_pingendpoint with relevant health checks
MOTDShow the message of the day banner at the top of the site
These values must be present in your
.env file (created by
CLASSROOM_WEBHOOK_URL_PREFIXNgrok url to receive webhooks (run
GITHUB_CLIENT_IDthe GitHub Application Client ID.
GITHUB_CLIENT_SECRETthe GitHub Application Client Secret.
user_idsof users to be granted staff level access.
To obtain your
GitHub Client ID/Secret you need to register a new OAuth application.
After you register your OAuth application, you should fill in the homepage url with
http://localhost:5000 and the authorization url with
To obtain your GitHub User ID for the
NON_STAFF_GITHUB_ADMIN_IDS field, go to
If you want to make a functionality change to the application you will need to write tests to accompany that change. In order to do this, the test values in the .env file must be filled in.
GitHub Classroom uses VCR for recording and playing back API fixtures during test runs. These cassettes (fixtures) are part of the Git project in the
spec/support/cassettes folder. If you're not recording new cassettes you can run the specs with existing cassettes with:
GitHub Classroom uses environmental variables for storing credentials used in testing, these values are located in your
.env file (created by
If you are recording new cassettes, you need to make sure all of these values are present.
user_idof an organization admin.
TEST_CLASSROOM_OWNER_GITHUB_TOKENThe Personal Access Token for the classroom owner
TEST_CLASSROOM_STUDENT_GITHUB_IDTest OAuth application client ID.
TEST_CLASSROOM_STUDENT_GITHUB_TOKENThe Personal Access Token for the student
TEST_CLASSROOM_OWNER_ORGANIZATION_GITHUB_IDGitHub ID (preferably one created specifically for testing against).
TEST_CLASSROOM_OWNER_ORGANIZATION_GITHUB_LOGINGitHub login (preferably one created specifically for testing against).
To obtain these values you will need:
It is best if you create your own organization for testing purposes, if you have done so:
To obtain the
OWNER_GITHUB_ID value, you can go to
To obtain the
OWNER_GITHUB_TOKEN value, you will need to generate a personal access token.
To get the
STUDENT_GITHUB_ID value you will need to create another user account on GitHub and get the ID by going to
To get the
STUDENT_GITHUB_TOKEN value you will need to generate another personal access token for the student account.
To obtain the
OWNER_ORGANIZATION_GITHUB_ID/LOGIN you can go to
Now you should have all of the values filled in, great job!
Foreman is setup to manage redis, memcached, sidekiq, and elasticsearch in development mode. Postgresql must be running prior executing foreman.
After that, you may start the rails server in a separate terminal with:
And another terminal with:
To enable optional features, run:
That's it! You should have a working instance of GitHub Classroom located here
We strongly encourage you to use https://classroom.github.com, but if you would like your own version GitHub Classroom can be easily deployed to Heroku.
If you're interested in helping out with Classroom development and looking for a place to get started, check out the issues labeled
help-wanted and feel free to ask any questions you have before diving into the code.
Classroom is developed by these contributors.