Course Hero
Course-hero-logo.svg
Type of site
Available inEnglish
FoundedOctober 2006; 15 years ago (2006-10) in Redwood City, California
Headquarters2000 Seaport Blvd
Redwood City, California
Area servedWorldwide
Founder(s)
  • Andrew Grauer
  • Gregor Carrigan
CEOAndrew Grauer
IndustryEdTech
URLcoursehero.com
RegistrationOptional (required for uploading and downloading documents, viewing full tutor answers and asking questions)
Current statusActive
[1]

Course Hero is an American education technology website company based in Redwood City, California, which operates an online learning platform for students to access course-specific study resources (homework, essays and tests).

The crowdsourced learning platform contains practice problems, study guides, infographics, class notes, step-by-step explanations, essays, lab reports, videos, user-submitted questions paired with answers from tutors, and original materials created and uploaded by educators. Users either buy a subscription or upload original documents to receive unlocks that are used to view and download full Course Hero documents.[2]

History

Course Hero was founded by Andrew Grauer at Cornell University in 2006 for college students to share lectures, class notes, exams and assignments.[3]

In November 2014, the company raised $15 million in Series A Funding, with investors that included GSV Capital and IDG Capital. Seed investors SV Angel and Maveron also participated.[4] In February 2020, the company raised a further $10 million in Series B Funding, valuing the company at over $1 billion. The Series B round was led by NewView Capital, whose founder and managing partner, Ravi Viswanathan, joined Course Hero’s board of directors. NewView Capital also contributed $30 million in what’s known as an employee tender offer, a process by which NewView purchased company shares directly from Course Hero employees.[5]

Course Hero acquired Symbolab, a mathematics problem solver, in October 2020, and acquired LitCharts, a literature guide resource, in June 2021. Terms of these acquisitions were not disclosed.[6][7]

In December 2021, the company received a $380 million Series C at a $3.6 billion valuation. This financing was led by Wellington Management and included investors such as Sequoia Capital Global Equities, OMERS growth equity, and D1 Capital Partners.[8]

Controversy

Subscribers can download complete papers that were submitted by previous students and submit them as their own work. Additionally, the site allows students to upload homework and get completed work solutions from the site's contracted workers.[9] Course Hero gets content for free from its users and charges an annual fee of $83.40, or a monthly fee of $19.95.

Copyright concerns

The documents uploaded for sale are frequently the intellectual property of faculty members, not of the students who post them/sell them. Course Hero's Use Policy states that users must be authorized to post the file, however Course Hero does not verify this or notify copyright holders prior to submissions being uploaded. These files include exams and their keys, quizzes and their keys, study guides written by instructors.[10] To protect the rights of the copyright holders, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act requires Course Hero to expeditiously remove content when it is flagged as infringing its copyright. However, the process to remove copyrighted material is burdensome and discourages people from following through on such claims. According to some, the sheer volume of material held by Course Hero makes the prospect of takedown requests unlikely since professors must submit a lengthy request for each individual document uploaded.

In March 2022, an assistant professor of business at Chapman University sued students for posting portions of his midterm and final course exams on Course Hero.[11][12]

References

  1. ^ "Coursehero.com Traffic, Demographics and Competitors - Alexa". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  2. ^ "Course Hero, a DIY Education Startup, Is Now Paying Students*". Pando. 2012-05-10. Retrieved 2018-06-09.
  3. ^ Leiber, Nick (20 October 2011). "2011 Finalists: America's Best Young Entrepreneurs". BloombergBusinessweek.
  4. ^ "Course Hero raises $15M for crowd-sourced study help - Silicon Valley Business Journal". Archived from the original on 2014-11-13.
  5. ^ "With $1.1B Valuation, Course Hero Joins the Edtech Unicorn Stable - EdSurge News". EdSurge. February 12, 2020.
  6. ^ "Course Hero acquires LitCharts, founded by the creators of SparkNotes". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2021-06-11.
  7. ^ "Course Hero buys Symbolab in a rare edtech acquisition". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2021-07-16.
  8. ^ "For Course Hero, venture capital was once an unobvious solution". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2022-02-07.
  9. ^ Foderaro, Lisa W. (17 May 2009). "Psst! Need the Answer to No. 7? Click Here". The New York Times.
  10. ^ Smalley, Suzanne. "Course Hero contends with student privacy concerns". www.insidehighered.com. Retrieved 2022-04-30.
  11. ^ "A professor found his exam questions posted online. He's suing the students responsible for copyright infringement". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2022-04-30.
  12. ^ Flaherty, Colleen (March 18, 2022). "Suing students who shared exams online to identify them". www.insidehighered.com. Retrieved 2022-04-30.