# Platform for annotating students' code assignments

I'm about to start teaching a class of 10 people. I do it for free, and I search after a platform for home assignment.

That platform should be:

 1. Free
2. Support multiple users and multiple assignments
3. Allow me to comment on specific lines of their code
4. (Ultimately) allow them to change their solution without cleaning the comments
5. Very simple for solution submission (no SCM systems involved)
6. Could be or not be self-hosted


Is there any known system that has these features? Thanks!

• Any reason you don't want to use source control? GitHub, and specifically GitHub Classroom hits all of the other points. – Ryan Nutt Oct 31 '19 at 22:10
• I know, but this is the first time they'll code, and I try to lower the cognitive load for now. I want the students not to focus on the tools and the environment. Thanks anyway :) – Infinity Oct 31 '19 at 22:10
• This seems like overkill for ten students. Especially if they meet face to face. Paper printouts works, is cheap and simple. Easy to comment, also. – Buffy Nov 1 '19 at 0:07
• @Infinity: The proper tools can hide most of Git's complexity. If you e.g. use SourceTree and help students get it set up, it requires little effort to get going and GitHub (classroom or not) does exactly what you want it to do. In general, solutions with a lot of features tend to be more complex. You're asking for a lot of features and thus some complexity is inevitable. – Flater Nov 6 '19 at 11:59

## 1 Answer

I was not aware of GitHub ClassRoom as mentioned by @Ryan_Nutt above, but I have been using repl.it for classroom coding exercises.

It will do auto-correction (based on unit-tests or output matching) and will allow commenting. Students do not need to be able to use git, and can code their solution in an ide or online. Pasting their code in will let them test if it passes. You can view and comment on their code, albeit not an inline comment you can reference the line.

It is free. I link to it from Moodle and with the link the class can "join" my repl class. It also lets them save code in the cloud so that code from class can be saved online and therefore accessible from home.

It's worth a look and could be built up over time (exercises etc.). I have 10 in my class at the moment, am teaching with Python, and was able to import 115 questions another teacher had created, so there is opportunity to get up an running relatively quickly.

As an aside, I did find that creating questions from fresh a bit cumbersome but some of this may be because I found it difficult to even get started making a classroom at the beginning.

Hope this might be of some benefit to you.

Sean.