For live classes, I want students to be able to collaborate with each other in a Repl.
I want the repl to be part of the team, so make it a project
The group project feature seems like it’s almost right for this, except that there’s additional overhead to creating and joining a group vs. sharing an invite link.
The beauty of replit multiplayer mode is that it’s just an invite link, no fuss with “who is officially part of this group”. I want to be able to see who is currently working on a repl, but I don’t need to have an ‘official’ set of students who are part of the group.
The other workaround is to have a normal repl and have students fork that, but then getting visibility into who is working on what is way harder (even though I could click through ‘forks’ and try to browse).
Hi @robcobb, thanks for your question.
I wondered why the repl had to be part of the team if you don’t need to have a fixed group of students working on the problem. Could you create a few copies of the repl e.g. PROBLEM_GROUPA, PROBLEM_GROUPB, PROBLEM_GROUPC etc and then share the invite link to the students so they can use multiplayer to edit it?
Yeah, it’s possible to just create a repl and have students fork it… but since the demise of Team repls, there’s no great place to put it, and there’s not a great way to see which students are in which repls without opening up all the forks.
I guess my other hesitation about it is that it creates a split brain in the curriculum. It would be really nice to say “here’s a page with all our repls”. Using normal repls (instead of projects) means it’s instead “here’s a page of all the projects, and here’s like a dozen random repls that are also sort of part of the class”. A bunch of other teams for ed tools also don’t work for random repls, like the project overview data, copying projects, controlling publication / visibility… I like all those features! I want to use them! I just want to toggle ‘on’ the ability for students to share a join link to their project repl.
This is a really interesting discussion and I’m trying to get my head around the use case here.
What tasks are the students completing that require multiplayer but flexibility to adjust groups?
For example I’m using PRIMM a lot now with my 15-18 year old students and so they run and modify a lot of pre-written programs but they each get a copy of it through Teams for Edu so they can annotate using Threads. I could do this with a shared random repl on multiplayer or even just using the cover page link for the repl but then they would need to use some other method for adding comments.
Ah, threads are another good feature that you lose in random repl world!
Giving everyone their own version to work on in a breakout room is fine, but it’s not the same as working on something together.
For me, the hesitation around group projects is not about flexibly adjusting groups. The ‘group project’ UX overhead is too heavy.
First you have to not miss the toggle when you create the project in the first place (or, somehow mentally track which projects you are group vs. not when copying from another team, I guess?). Then you have to either assign groups (introduce an overhead to the breakouts in zoom / plan groups ahead of time / configure some csv to manage the zoom breakout room assignments) or coach students through the group join flow.
If everything goes perfectly then it’s okay, but if you mess up (forget the toggle, a student accidentally clicks the wrong group) then you have to go into click-through-UX debugging mode, which sucks. I never want to spend live class time debugging why students aren’t in the right group to participate with each other.
Compared to how light it feels to create a new repl and invite to multiplayer, this is wayyyy too heavy for me to ever really use! So, it’s either 1) every student does their own work, side by side but not actually sharing the repl or 2) we’re in shared random repl world, which is missing all the cool teams for edu features.
Most in-class pair programming in the edu context hits this pain point, for me.
Thanks for your reply @robcobb ,
So this would be for an online class where groups are decided by who goes into which breakout room?
And the pair programming work would always be different pairs of students? So joining a fixed group doesn’t work?
Would visually identifying which project is a group one vs not a group project in Teams for Edu be a useful addition here?
Yes, group programming in live classes is the scenario I’m thinking of. I think the group projects UI for independent / outside of class work is not great but it works ok enough. (Join link is a beautiful thing, it’s so much better than the modal / choose a square based on names version). Fixed group doesn’t really work, since I use the ‘randomly assign to rooms’ button in zoom.
Visually identifying group projects on the page would definitely be an improvement! More important is being able to turn it on later than project creation (I can see how turning it off would be a hard case, but turning it on after the fact seems like it shouldn’t be impossible?).
I’ve held for a while that the visibility permission UI is a big pain point for teams for edu. Groups could be a different from ‘who can see this’, since sharing the project seems like a sometimes desirable property!
What I really want in the big picture is repl- and file-level view/edit/comment role permissions, everywhere. That’s a bigger ask than this narrow use case, but would be real cool for all kinds of reasons.