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What Is Course Hero?

Zara Hanif
November 16, 2021

What Is Course Hero?

Education is a powerful force that grows careers and companies. There are countless study tools and private tutor companies available to help students get to their next stage in life.

One new and trending education aid for both students and educators is Course Hero. Course Hero is designed to help students with study resources like notes, shared documents, and textbooks. Anyone could learn from the shared course information on the website.

Course Hero Explained

 Andrew Gauer is the founder of the e-learning and study resource site. He has a BA from Cornell and is the current CEO of Course Hero. Gauer’s undergrad experience led him to the idea of an education platform to help students by sharing information. He even included extensive tools to help professors as well.

Anyone who subscribes to Course Hero will gain access to over 60 million course materials, resources, and have the option for tutoring. More than 60,000 educators are on the site sharing information and helping each other to become better teachers. To create an account you need to select your college or university.

The free plan is Basic Membership upon making an account. Any member is able to earn “free unlocks” to courses and lesson plans by sharing their own course information. The paid plan is Premier Membership, which gives the user access to 30 documents, textbook solutions, and explanations. The Premier Membership has plans as low as $9.95/Month, but you won’t be able to see the rest of the monthly plans until you are signing up.

Course Hero has also been in the news for the acquisition of Symolab in 2020. Symbolab is an AI designed by mathematicians and computer scientists. The AI works to help students figure out complex math problems; Course Hero acquired the tool to help students improve their college skills. 

One concern for online resource-sharing sites like Course Hero is cheating. Many wonder if students can use the platform for cheating. With that very issue in mind, Course Hero has a strict no cheating, copyright infringement, or plagiarism policy. 

Any student who plagiarizes information on the site or shares information they don’t own will be banned from the site. Any student found to violate a school honor code of conduct is subject to be banned from the platform. 

Course Hero’s mission as an online learning platform that can help students graduate confident and prepared. They believe they can achieve this by giving students access to practice problems, essays, study tools, exams, and tutors. The resources really add up with Course Hero, and there are so many more benefits for students and educators.

Course Hero Benefits for Students

College students can come from all walks of life, but the one thing they have in common is a need for time. Most students work at least part-time, many already have full-time jobs, and some even work in their ideal field but want to move up to another position. On top of working, most have families, daily chores, and of course other classes.

Online study materials help students to learn by making every study hour count. Even the busiest can make the most of their limited time. Instead of re-reading the same paragraph in an outdated textbook, you can see how other textbooks explain the same thing. Users can even look at how another student understood the topic in their notes. Collaboration can help a student far better than sweating over a textbook and wishing they took more detailed notes. With every student learning differently, collaboration lets more people find what works for them by helping each other.

A subscriber via the paid Premier Membership will have instant access to most resources with monthly limits. Those benefits include course-specific study resources and 40 expert tutor questions.

The free plan has access to study documents if they use the free unlock feature, and they can pay per tutor question. The free unlock feature is unlocking information by uploading or rating information on the platform. Either subscription can use free unlock to gain more study materials. A student can receive 5 unlocks for every 10 documents shared, and 1 unlock for every 5 documents reviewed or rated. 

A user that receives good ratings can also receive unlocks. If a student uploads enough of their own class notes and assignments they can get the help they need for their own coursework. This ensures that Course Hero has enough new materials to share. This symbiotic relationship benefits students and companies alike.

Some may notice Course Hero benefits are definitely skewed towards paid accounts. A paid account is more efficient for students that don’t have time to sift through what resources they can offer. Course Hero does want to help students and provide them with worthwhile opportunities. They offer scholarships and emergency aid in the face of Covid-19. 

The Hero Student Scholarship awards $5,000 to a student per year until graduation. The scholarship is for helping students that have overcome great obstacles in the pursuit of their education. They also offer scholarships for veterans, and first-generation students. 

The emergency aid offered can be for both students and teachers. The Student Emergency Aid initiative has $500,000 in funds. Students can apply for financial support and also receive free content like tutor questions and textbook access. Educators can be granted free access to teaching and learning resources for a limited time.

Students and even teachers can benefit from this educational resource. Educators can make an account and find a number of different ways they can use the platform for, one of those being the connection to other educators.

Course Hero Benefits for Teachers

Course Hero is not only for helping students learn but also for helping teachers learn new ways to educate their students. Any educator can make a free account and instantly access over 10 million lesson plans, study guides, infographics, literature guides. You can expand that free access by sharing your own course notes and syllabi. 

Students do not have the same access teachers do, which means teacher accounts must be verified with the institution they are an employee. The many benefits a teaching account has access to include the library of 40 million resources and connecting with peers.

New teachers can find other educators in their field and watch their lectures and chat with them online about styles and techniques. It’s a great alternative especially with so many schools moving to remote and hybrid learning. Even seasoned educators can find great resources on the faculty club page. 

The Faculty Club has lectures, a blog, and classroom tips to help educators. There are over 60,000 verified teachers to ask questions and compare lectures and courses with. There is also the Course Hero Education Summit. This event is a three-day virtual gathering for workshops, presentations and roundtable discussions.

This educator platform is an amazing resource for those that want knowledge from other educators in the US, Canada and Australia. The feedback and community can help, especially during chaotic times like forced hybrid and remote teaching.

Course Hero Alternatives and Other Resources

For those of you that are excited about Course Hero, there is a great tutorial to get you started on how to use the site. The video will show you their dashboard and interface.

You may see serious value in Course Hero, but still want to see other options. Other major platforms are Chegg, MasterClass, and Quizlet. More cost-effective options are Quizlet and Khan Academy which are free. Check out all of these options and read real reviews by clicking below

YouTube also has a plethora of transparent experts and institutions that post videos and lectures for free.

If you’re looking for more resources for educators on campus and off-campus, you can read Announcing the Education Software Honor Roll.

About the Author

Zara Hanif
Zara is a Research Content Writer/Editor for TrustRadius. She has an English BA and Web Design and Development AS. She enjoys the creativity and freedom of the tech world. In her free time she loves to create art, make jewelry, and work on sci-fi stories

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