Real-Time Collaboration

Collaborate and work on code together in the CodeHS Sandbox with Real-Time Collaboration

Jeremy Keeshin avatar
Written by Jeremy Keeshin
Updated over a week ago
Banner: this is a Free feature

With Real-Time Collaboration, students and teachers can use the CodeHS Sandbox IDE to work together on the same coding activity live and asynchronously! Any collaborator can save changes to the program. Collaboration is now more like a Google Doc! Owners can leave and participants can still make changes to the program as well as edit file names and add new files.

Start a Collaboration Session

To start a real-time collaboration session:

  1. Go to the Sandbox program you'd like to collaborate on.

  2. Open the Collaborate tab in the left navigation panel.

  3. Enable Collaboration.

  4. Share the link that is generated with your peers! Anyone with collaboration access will be able to make changes to the program until their access is disabled.

  5. Remember to save as you work!

  6. Use the Disable Collaboration button to no longer collaborate on a program together.

Animated .gif showing how click the Collaborate tab and enable collaboration to begin a session

You can also enable collaboration via the share button, located at the top of the Code Editor:

animated .gif showing how to enable collaboration from the share button

When a collaborator opens the link, they'll be able to code with you on your program:

Screenshot highlighting the logged in user icons and different chunks of code by collaborators

Disable Collaboration

Anyone with the link will be able to continue making changes to the program at any time until you Disable the Collaboration!

To stop collaborating:

  1. Open the Collaborate tab in the left navigation panel of the Code Editor.

  2. Click Disable Collaboration. You can always re-enable Collaboration later!

Image showing Disable Collaboration button in the Collaboration tab

Forking a Program

If you'd like to make a copy of a program to work on in your own Sandbox, click Fork:

Screenshot highlighting the Fork button

This will create a new copy of the program in your own Sandbox where you can continue to edit. These edits will not transfer to the original program.

Collaboration in Karel

Collaborating in a Karel program is only available when the original owner keeps the program open. Once the original program owner logs out or disables the collaboration session, the guest user will see a message at the top of the Code Editor: "The owner of this project has stopped collaborating. Your changes won't be saved. You may have to reload the page."

An image displaying the message which appears when collaboration is not available

To begin a collaboration session in a Karel program, click the Share button at the top of the code editor, click on the Collaborate tab, and then share the collaboration link with others.

Collaborating with Karel looks like this:

Animated .gif demonstrating Karel program collaboration in the Code Editor

Collaboration Chat (Beta)

Teachers can enable Collaborate Chat for their students to chat with each other while collaborating in the Sandbox.

Check out this article for more info: Collaboration Chat

Animated .gif demonstrating collaboration chat in the Code Editor

Collaboration Troubleshooting

Students unable to email or send links to each other

If students aren't able to directly email or otherwise send links to each other, you can use this sheet to collect and distribute program links - feel free to make a copy for use with your class!

Collaboration Limitations

Collaboration is not available in block coding programs such as Music (Blockly).

The following program types are also limited to synchronous collaboration:

  • Processing

  • React Native

  • Bit Interpreter

  • SQL

  • Python 2

Valid Usernames

Students may need to Change their username before using the collaboration feature. Fully valid usernames cannot contain numbers or symbols. This can be done in account settings.

Assignment Collaboration

With Assignment Collaboration, a teacher can launch any of their student's assignments and begin to collaborate in real-time! Learn more about Assignment Collaboration.

Animated .gif demonstrating real-time assignment collaboration in the Code Editor

Still have questions? Contact our team at to learn more!

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