26 May

Course Hero Review

course hero review

It is highly convenient that they sneakily hid the word “dying” at the end of the word “studying.” There’s just something about the action of studying that stresses people out. And it doesn’t help when you throw in the turmoil that comes with figuring out how to balance studying, academics, work, extra-curricular activities, a social life, and the most important one: sleep.

In the struggle to juggle, and students usually drop the ball when it comes to studying. It’s simply the easiest ball to drop. It’s time-consuming. It’s stress-inducing. And let us not forget that it’s not the least bit appealing or fun. Plus, it’s hard to study if you’re the type of person who is constantly misplacing your notes and study guides.

If you’re looking for a study hero that will do the hard work for you, coursehero.com may be the solution for you. It may not make studying any more fun or appealing, but it just might save time and reduce the stress that comes along with it.

Join Course Hero

About Course Hero

Course Hero was founded in 2006 by a college student for college students. It is a social learning network with millions of course-specific learning materials. Through its services, you can give—and get—course information such as study guides, syllabi, course notes, Q&A, and flashcards. And it's all in one place, so you don't have to worry about the possibility of losing it.

Users can also set up customized study plans, form study groups where they can share study resources and exchange ideas, and receive help from one of the hundreds of Course Hero’s paid tutors who are available 24/7.

Course Hero’s vision, according to their website, is to “help any student or educator ask and answer any question in any course in the world.” They are setting out to do this by amassing the world’s biggest collection of learning materials and study resources. How do they do that? That’s only part of what this Course Hero review will explain to you.

How Does It Work?

Now that you know all about it, how does Course Hero work? This Course Hero review will walk you through the process.

Students and educators from all over the world upload original notes, lectures, tests, study guides, and flashcards to the website and tag them to the correct course at the right school. From there, other students and educators from around the world can access those materials; students to gain some insight they might not get from their professor, and educators to see other ways to teach or explain a topic.

Features

So, is Course Hero worth it? The answer to that question is really a matter of opinion, but you can come up with your own answer after looking at the many features and benefits of this service that this Course Hero review goes over.

Study Documents

Course Hero makes it easy for you to find study resources for your classes. If you go to the “about” link and scroll down to the “what we do” section, you will see three boxes. If you click on the one that says, “study documents,” it will take you to the study materials page. The first thing it has on the page is a list of suggested schools near you, based on your GPS location.

But if you don't want any of those schools, it has an alphabetized list of all the schools further down that it has materials for, and you just select the university you want. From there, all the courses and departments are listed alphabetically, and it says how many documents are available in each section. Once you click on a course, you can see what kind of papers are posted there.

They have many types of study documents, including:

  • Assessments and test prep
  • Assignments
  • Essays
  • Homework help
  • Notes and lecture slides
  • Lab reports
  • Lesson plans
  • Rubrics and syllabi

Expert Tutors

Course Hero’s services also include access to expert tutors. There are two options for getting tutoring help: the basic question feature and the advanced question feature.

The basic question is the one you should use for one-off problems, getting your work checked, or asking a question that will take less than an hour to answer. The cost of asking a basic question varies between $3, $5, and $8 in tutor credits per question. By using the basic question feature, you are guaranteed quick responses from various tutors, giving you different perspectives.

You should use the advanced question feature for in-depth help on longer assignments and problem sets or ask questions that will take longer than an hour to complete. The cost to ask an advanced question starts at $10 in tutor credits and you are assigned a single tutor for one-on-one assistance.

When broken down to the basics, using Course Hero tutor feature is essentially just a three-step process: Ask a question, get an answer, and rate your answer. If you receive an unsatisfactory answer, simply give a bad rating, and you will get your tutor credits back.

Flashcards

With all the new ways of learning out there, flashcards remain the simplest way to learn—and retain—new information. One of Course Hero's features gives you access to millions of flashcards posted by students and educators alike. You can access the flashcards even if you only have a Basic membership, but by upgrading to Premier flashcards, you'll also receive:  

  • Privacy controls to limit who can see the flashcards you upload
  • Image uploader so you can upload your own images to customize your flashcards
  • Print settings so you can print your flashcards for offline studying
  • Group statistics so you can track your study group members’ study progress

The flashcards feature also comes with Optimal Learn, by which you can create customized study plans to help you master your flashcards by a set date. Setting it up is easy; simply find the set of flashcards that you want to study (or upload your own) and select “Optimal Learn.” The website will take you to a study plan set-up screen where you can schedule your program.

If you are on the go and want to access your flashcards, you can download the Course Hero mobile app. With the app, you can carry your flashcards wherever you go and access them on your iOS and Android devices.

Courses

To access the list of courses, you must first choose a school. You can find the list of schools on the home page by scrolling down. Once you select the school you want, the website will take you to that school's “Course Hero page,” which contains all the classes that school has uploads for. You can click on the course you want to get access to its study resources.

Aside from uploading information to courses and looking at information already uploaded to courses, users can also share course advice with other students about to take the class. You can warn other students not to take a class with a particular professor, recommend a professor, and much more. Plus, users who give course advice on three courses receive $10 in tutor credits.

Video Lectures and Educator Platform

Course Hero is not just for students; it is also an excellent resource for educators. Through the educator platform, verified educators are allowed access to the millions of resources on the website, both those submitted by students and those submitted by other educators. Beyond this, with an educator account, you can:

  • Customize your lesson plans and teaching materials in less time using the 10 million plus lesson plans, flashcards, and study guides
  • Quickly search for content by browsing resources by subject or by course
  • Gain access to free infographics and literature guides
  • Access all the content in the Course Hero library
  • Search the library of video lectures by university, subject, or even instructor

If you have an educator account, you gain free access to Course Hero by sharing your resources. The more you share, the more you extend your free access. In fact, for every ten uploaded documents, you earn five free unlocks. Plus, verified educators can share content with their students for free and upload content to Course Hero's marketplace and earn cash when other users unlock it.

Pricing

How much does Course Hero cost? It depends on two things: how much you’re willing to spend and how many resources you want access to. Making a Course Hero account is free, and they do have a free Basic membership. But Basic members are only granted access to flashcards and must pay-per-question to use Course Hero’s tutors.

So, if you want to be able to access anything of value on the website, you must “give something to get something.” Interestingly, though, that “something” that you give doesn’t have to be cash. If you don’t want to pay for one of their subscription plans, you can upload documents in exchange for free unlocks that you can use to download study resources. Ten uploaded documents will get you five free unlocks.

If you would rather prefer to pay, however, they have three different payment options for their Premier subscription. Premier members receive monthly unlocks and up to $120 in tutor credits. Premier members can also earn extra unlocks by uploading documents. The Course Hero prices for a premium subscription are listed below:

  • One year plan: $9.95 per month (billed once at $119.40)
  • Three-month plan: $19.95 per month (billed once at $59.85)
  • One-month plan: $39.95 per month (billed monthly at $39.95)

Course Hero payment plans are treated like subscriptions in that they will renew automatically at the end of your commitment period (be it one month, three months, or a year) until you cancel them. You can pay via credit card or PayPal, and you can cancel your subscription at any time.

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Potential Concerns

Is Course Hero legit? The answer is yes, it is. That leads us to what may be a better question surrounding this service, which is: is using Course Hero cheating? Course Hero has the means to provide people with a way to cheat if they wanted to, and while many people do use Course Hero to cheat, that is not its intended purpose. Course Hero takes a clear stance on this on its website and in its terms of use.

In fact, Course Hero has an entire section of its website devoted to establishing proper uploading etiquette and explaining its stance on academic integrity. They even have an honor code page on their website that explains what to do and what not to do while using their services.

If you are an educator, you may be concerned about your students uploading materials from your course without your permission. But Course Hero takes cases of plagiarism and copyright infringement very seriously. If you feel that a user uploaded your copyrighted material without your permission, you can submit a takedown request.

If you are an honest user who is concerned about unintentionally infringing someone’s copyright, Course Hero’s upload policy will give you more insight about how to upload in accordance with their terms of use.

Our Recommendation

Many people have countered Course Hero with “Course Villain.” But is it really all bad? It offers the world's largest collection of study materials and makes it available to anyone who is willing to pay for it. And the best part is that you don't necessarily have to pay with cash. You get free unlocks for uploading documents, and you get tutor credits for giving course advice. For Course Hero, time is a form of payment.

There is a lot of negative stigma surrounding this service, but we feel it may be unwarranted. Even though there are a lot of people using websites like Course Hero to cheat in their courses, Course Hero is still in business, and that says something. It says that their no-tolerance policy towards copyright infringement and plagiarism works. It says that they enforce it.

So, what’s our final recommendation? Course Hero, like most other similar things in life, is a well-meaning service that can be taken advantage of by not-so-well-meaning people. It may have a lot of negative publicity, but it is still a service that is worth your time—or money—to try.