Preventing/controlling making private Github repos public RStudio Cloud projects

I'm pretty sure the following flow is possible:

  1. A student in a Github organization gets an assignment Github repository, which is private.
  2. The student logs into RStudio Cloud and starts a new project in her own workspace from this private Github repo.
  3. The only difference when uploading a private vs. a public repo is that with a private repo RC asks for Github user + password.
  4. The student solves assignment and can then make here project public, available for everyone with a link to see.

And thus, the point of having a private repo for an assignment can be completely bypassed using RC.

For comparison, Binder does NOT currently allow you to do this, see here:

Is there a way to prevent/control this? Obviously this student shouldn't do this and even without this students can cheat but it's a clear gateway for cheating.. @mine

In step 4, do you mean student would make their project public? In RStudio Cloud or on GitHub? In both places the instructor can prevent students from changing permissions.

Let me know if that doesn't address the question, though!

Thank you so much for answering!

As for changing repo visibility on Github - I wasn't able to do that as a student, that's good.

As for changing RC-project visibility - I was able to do that as a student, provided I uploaded my private Github repo as a RC-project on my personal student space, not through copying the public repo project on RC from the course workspace. RC asked for my student Github credentials and from there it was as if it was any other project.

(again, obviously if a student wants to cheat she will cheat but I wonder whether uploading private repos to RC should even be allowed, for this exact reason)

Ah, I see what you mean! You're cloning your private GitHub repo to your own workspace on RStudio Cloud. So the course workspace can prevent you from changing the visibility, but you can do what you want in your workspace.

I imagine preventing cloning private repositories to the personal workspace will not be something we want in RStudio Cloud -- there are many valid reasons why one might want to do that, outside of a classroom setting.

The way I think about this is:

  • In the workspace I create as in instructor, I take precautions to not make it easy for students to share their work with each other if for a given assignment this is not allowed.
  • Everywhere else, students are bound by the academic dishonesty/code of conduct of the course/school.

In this definition "everywhere else" includes students personal workspace on RStudio Cloud, as well as their local environment (e.g. they could clone locally and email contents to a friend).

I see your point. Thanks so much for answering.

BTW - I'm using the RStudio Cloud and the ghclass package next semester in my advanced DS course, and I have to say Mine I could not have done it without the great material you published. Thanks again.

That's fantastic to hear, thank you!

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