Create a group assignment

You can create a collaborative assignment for teams of students who participate in your course.

In this article

About group assignments

A group assignment is collaborative coursework for groups of students on GitHub Classroom. Students can work together on a group assignment in a shared repository, like a team of professional developers.

When a student accepts a group assignment, the student can create a new team or join an existing team. GitHub Classroom saves the teams for an assignment as a set. You can name the set of teams for a specific assignment when you create the assignment, and you can reuse that set of teams for a later assignment.

For each group assignment, GitHub Classroom automatically creates a single shared repository for the team to access. The repository can be empty, or you can create the repository from a template repository with starter code, documentation, tests, and other resources. The repository belongs to your organization account on GitHub, and GitHub Classroom grants access to teams that students create or join when accepting the assignment.

Each assignment has a title and an optional deadline. You can choose the visibility of repositories that GitHub Classroom creates and choose access permissions. You can also automatically grade assignments and create a dedicated space to discuss the assignment with the student.

You can decide how many teams one assignment can have, and how many members each team can have. Each team that a student creates for an assignment is a team within your organization on GitHub. The visibility of the team is secret. Teams that you create on GitHub will not appear in GitHub Classroom. For more information, see "About teams."

For a video demonstration of the creation of a group assignment, see "Basics of setting up GitHub Classroom."

Prerequisites

You must create a classroom before you can create an assignment. For more information, see "Manage classrooms."

Creating an assignment

To create an assignment, sign into GitHub Classroom and navigate to a classroom. In the Assignments tab, click New assignment.

The 'New assignment' button

Setting up the basics for an assignment

Name your assignment, decide whether to assign a deadline, define teams, and choose the visibility of assignment repositories.

Naming an assignment

For a group assignment, GitHub Classroom names repositories by the repository prefix and the name of the team. By default, the repository prefix is the assignment title. For example, if you name an assignment "assignment-1" and the team's name on GitHub is "student-team", the name of the assignment repository for members of the team will be assignment-1-student-team.

Type a title for the assignment. Optionally, click to edit the prefix.

Assignment title and prefix

Assigning a deadline for an assignment

Optionally, you can assign a deadline to the assignment. Under "Deadline (optional)", click in the text field, then use the date picker to assign a deadline.

Date picker for assignment deadline

Choosing an assignment type

Under "Individual or group assignment", select the drop-down menu, then click Group assignment. You can't change the assignment type after you create the assignment. If you'd rather create a individual assignment, see "Create an individual assignment."

Defining teams for an assignment

If you've already created a group assignment for the classroom, you can reuse a set of teams for the new assignment. To create a new set with the teams that your students create for the assignment, type the name for the set. Optionally, type the maximum number of team members and total teams.

Tips:

  • We recommend including details about the set of teams in the name for the set. For example, if you want to use the set of teams for one assignment, name the set after the assignment. If you want to reuse the set throughout a semester or course, name the set after the semester or course.

  • If you'd like to assign students to a specific team, give your students a name for the team and provide a list of members.

Parameters for the teams participating in a group assignment

Choosing a visibility for assignment repositories

The repositories for an assignment can be public or private. If you use private repositories, only the student or team can see the feedback you provide.

You can also decide whether to grant students admin permissions to the repository for an assignment. Grant admin permissions if the student should be able to perform administrative tasks for the assignment repository. For more information, see "About repository visibility" and "Repository permission levels for an organization."

Under "Repository visibility", select a visibility. Optionally, select Grant students admin access to their repository.

Visibility options for assignment repositories

When you're done, click Continue to configure starter code and a development environment for the assignment.

'Continue' button

Adding starter code and configuring a development environment

Optionally, decide whether to provide empty repositories or starter code, and preconfigure a development environment for your students.

Choosing a template repository

By default, a new assignment will create an empty repository for each team that a student creates. You can optionally choose a template repository as starter code for the assignment. The template repository must belong to your organization or be a public repository on GitHub. For more information about template repositories, see "Creating a template repository."

Under "Add a template repository to give students starter code", select the Select a repository drop-down, then type a search query. In the list of results, click the template repository you'd like to use for starter code.

Using the 'Select a repository' drop-down menu to find a template repository to use as starter code for an assignment

Choosing an online integrated development environment (IDE)

You can optionally configure an assignment to use an online integrated development environment (IDE). Online IDEs allow your students to write code, run programs, and collaborate in a browser, without installing Git and a full development toolchain on the student's computer. If you choose an online IDE for an assignment, students can still check out and run code locally on a computer with the necessary software. For more information, see "Integrate GitHub Classroom with an IDE."

To choose an online IDE for the assignment, select the Select an online IDE drop-down menu, then click the IDE you'd like your students to use.

Using the 'Select an online IDE' drop-down menu to click an online IDE for the assignment

When you're done, click Continue to configure automatic grading and feedback for the project.

'Continue' button

Providing feedback

Optionally, you can automatically grade assignments and create a space for discussing each submission with the team.

Testing assignments automatically

You can use autograding to automatically check a student's work for an assignment on GitHub Classroom. You configure tests for an assignment, and the tests run immediately every time a student pushes to an assignment repository on GitHub. The student can view the test results, make changes, and push to see new results. For more information, see "Use autograding."

Under "Add autograding tests", select the Add test drop-down menu, then click the grading method you want to use. For more information, see "Grading methods."

Using the 'Add test' drop-down menu to click a grading method

Define the parameters of your test case, like the name, commands, inputs, outputs, timeout, and points. When you're done, click Save test case.

'Save test case' button for an autograding test

You can add more tests with the Add test drop-down menu, and you can edit or delete existing tests with or .

Pencil and trash icons to edit or delete an autograding test

Preventing changes to important files

You can prevent students from changing files that contain tests for autograding, or other important files in the assignment repository.

Under "Protected file paths", type relative paths within the repository to protect.

Text field for typing protected file paths

Creating a pull request for feedback

You can automatically create a pull request where you can provide feedback and answer a student's questions about an assignment. For more information about the review of changes in a pull request, see "Reviewing changes in pull requests."

To create pull requests for the discussion of feedback, select Enable feedback pull requests.

Checkbox for 'Enable feedback pull requests'

To create the assignment, click Create assignment.

'Create assignment' button

Inviting students to an assignment

By default, GitHub Classroom enables an invitation URL for each assignment you create. Students can accept and submit the assignment while the invitation URL is enabled. You can share the URL with your students on your LMS, course homepage, or wherever you post assignments. Students can also navigate to the assignment on GitHub Classroom if the student has already accepted an assignment for the classroom.

Warning: Be careful where you share invitation URLs. Anyone with an invitation URL for an assignment can accept the invitation and associate a user account on GitHub with an identifier in your roster.

You can see the teams that are working on or have submitted an assignment in the Teams tab for the assignment. To prevent acceptance or submission of an assignment by students, deselect Enable assignment invitation URL. To edit the assignment, click Edit assignment.

Group assignment

Next steps

Further reading

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