Programming for fun and profit

A blog about software engineering, programming languages and technical tinkering

Sun 04 October 2020

RepoBee at ITiCSE 2020!

Posted by Simon Larsén in Blog   

In 2019, I presented RepoBee at the ITiCSE conference in Aberdeen. This year, ITiCSE went virtual, but RepoBee still made an appearance in the new tools and tricks section with a small, two-page paper. Although I let my co-author Ric Glassey deal with the virtual presentation, I'm still quite proud that I had another paper on RepoBee published at one of the major tech education conferences.

If you're unaware, RepoBee is a tool for managing Git repositories in an educational context. A basic use case is for a teacher to have a template repository, and create copies of it for students or groups of students on GitHub or GitLab. If you've heard of GitHub Classroom, it's the same concept, but RepoBee is far more powerful and customizable, at the expense of being a little more intricate to use.

In the paper, Ric and I mostly discuss the need for customizable tools to tailor to different teaching methodologies and preferences, and how RepoBee makes this possible through plugins and by supporting both GitHub and GitLab. We also discuss the two primary modes of RepoBee, and how they can be combined. In dictate mode, RepoBee creates repositories for students based on template repositories. In discovery mode, RepoBee only sets up student teams/groups, and then the students themselves are responsible for creating the repositories, which RepoBee can then "discover".

The full paper is available in the ACM digital library.