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Course Hero
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).

Course Hero gets content for free from its users and charges an annual fee of $83.4, or a monthly fee of $19.95 per month.

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]

Features

Study documents

In 2012 it was asserted that Course Hero provided access to over 7 million uploaded study documents. Students pay a monthly subscription to have immediate Premier Access to Course Hero or they can upload 40 documents to receive free access for a month. When a user has uploaded 40 documents, they can download up to 300 documents from Course Hero. However, it takes about three days to get Premier Access after submitting documents. User can search for documents by content, university or course subject.[8] A philanthropic initiative called the Course Hero Knowledge Drive was introduced in September 2010 in which one book is donated to Books for Africa for every 10 study documents uploaded to the website. Since its inception, the Course Hero Knowledge Drive has donated over 200,000 books to students and schools abroad.[9]

Tutoring services

Course Hero offers 24/7 access to online tutors. They can ask any question about a subject and a tutor will respond within 3 days. This access is charged per use via "credits" for Premier Users, but basic subscribers have to pay per question.[citation needed]

Courses

On April 17, 2012, Course Hero launched 22 free online courses in three "learning paths": Entrepreneurship, Business, and Web Programming. These courses use aggregated educational content from the web and consistently test students until they master their subject. Each course breaks down into roughly 6 sections, teaching a combination of videos and articles.[10] On August 7, 2012, Course Hero added a further 18 free skill-based courses to their catalog.[11] Course Hero also rewards students who complete 5 or more in either three offered learning paths. Prizes include the opportunity to pitch a business plan to SV Angel and $5,000 or a chance to get a job at Course Hero.

Video lectures and educator platform

Educators can openly share knowledge and content through Course Hero.[12] There is a searchable library of video lectures, sorted by university, subject or instructor. The website also offers a free directory of digital courses that are available on the Internet.[citation needed]

Controversy

Copyright concerns

The documents uploaded for sale are frequently the intellectual property of instructors, not of the students who post them/sell them. Course Hero's Use Policy states that uploaders must be authorized to post the file, however Course Hero does not verify this or notify copyright holders prior to submissions being uploaded. This includes exams and their keys, quizzes and their keys, study guides written by instructors. 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 can be seen as overly burdensome and may be a subtle way to discourage people from following through on such claims.

Cheating

As Course Hero allows students to post previous homework and exam solutions from their classes, the website is often cited as an aid to student cheating. 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.[13]

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. ^ Marty, Jerome (3 October 2012). "Course Hero Crowdsources Study Material From 2 Million Students". Entrepreneur.
  9. ^ "Course Hero Surpasses 200,000 Books Donated to Gambian Schools". Books For Africa. 9 March 2014.
  10. ^ Constantine, Josh (12 April 2012). "Screw University, Course Hero Curates YouTube Into Free Business and Coding Classes". TechCrunch.
  11. ^ Farr, Christina (7 August 2012). "Professors out, experts in! Course Hero adds 18 free skill-based courses". VentureBeat.
  12. ^ Constine, Josh. "Screw University, Course Hero Curates YouTube Into Free Business and Coding Classes". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-09-26.
  13. ^ Foderaro, Lisa W. (17 May 2009). "Psst! Need the Answer to No. 7? Click Here". The New York Times.