What is Course Hero and how does it work for students?

Discover how Course Hero helps students with study resources, homework help, and academic support.

May 20, 2024 - 13:06
May 20, 2024 - 13:08
What is Course Hero and how does it work for students?
Course Hero

Being a college student can be challenging. With so much to manage, from maintaining a social life to excelling in your studies, it can sometimes feel overwhelming. While balancing your social life is up to you, getting some extra help with your studies can make a big difference.

That's where Course Hero comes in. If you're unfamiliar with it, you're about to discover a valuable resource. If you have heard of it but are concerned about its ethical implications, let's address those questions as well.

What is Course Hero?

Course Hero is an online learning platform designed specifically for college and university students. Its goal is to help students graduate fully prepared and confident. How does it achieve this? By offering a repository of course-specific study resources, including practice problems, study guides, class notes, assignment questions, and videos. These resources are designed to assist with coursework, whether you're stuck on a particular problem or simply need a bit of help understanding a topic.

But Course Hero isn't only beneficial for students. Teachers can also utilize Course Hero to discover teaching resources and innovative teaching practices. The platform allows educators to connect with others teaching similar courses and seek assistance with any challenges they might be encountering.

Is using Course Hero considered cheating?

One of the most common questions when encountering Course Hero is about its legality and ethicality. Is using Course Hero considered cheating or illegal? Rest assured, it is not.

Using Course Hero is completely legal and not considered cheating as long as the student uses the platform appropriately and as intended. Essentially, Course Hero serves as a study aid, similar to participating in a study group. It's akin to sharing notes with classmates or members of your study group.

Can your school tell if you use Course Hero?

Although using Course Hero isn't wrong or illegal, students often worry if their school will discover their use of the platform. There's no need for concern. Any documents you upload will be posted anonymously, ensuring that neither professors nor the school can trace who is using the site.

How does Course Hero work?

Course Hero takes an interesting approach to the standard freemium model, where some services are free, and others require a subscription for premium features. You can use Course Hero for free or become a subscriber. However, to access its free features, you need to engage in a sort of barter exchange.

All the study materials on Course Hero can be previewed by anyone once they sign up for a free account. You can find material related to your course and college, but the complete content is blurred and only available for a preview. To access the full material, you need something called an ‘Unlock.’

Additionally, you can get help from real tutors by asking questions, and they will respond within about 15 minutes.

Using Course Hero for free

You can earn free unlocks on Course Hero by uploading original study material to the site. The material must be your own, meaning you either own the copyright or have permission from the owner to upload it, and it must not be plagiarized.

Here's how it works: for every 10 documents you upload, you receive 5 unlocks. However, the unlocks are not immediately granted upon uploading. The Course Hero team reviews the documents, which can take from a few hours to up to 3 days. If the documents are approved, you'll receive the free unlocks by email, which you can then use in your account.

The unlocks you earn are valid for 30 days from the date of receipt. Each unlock allows you to access a single document, user question, or Textbook Explanation and Solution on Course Hero. Free members also have full access to the literature infographics available on the platform.

Course Hero subscription

A Course Hero subscription provides full access to all premium features. The subscription costs approximately $9.95 per month when paid annually, $19.95 per month when paid quarterly, and $39.95 per month when paid monthly.

Subscribers receive 30 unlocks each month, which are valid until the end of the month. These unlocks can be used to access 30 documents or user questions on Course Hero. Any remaining unlocks at the end of the month do not carry over to the next month. Subscribers also enjoy full access to all Textbook Solutions and Explanations.

Additionally, subscribers receive up to 40 tutor questions per month. Course Hero thoroughly vets tutors based on their qualifications and experience, ensuring that users receive assistance from experts.

The unlocks and tutor questions renew monthly. Members can earn additional unlocks or tutor questions by uploading their own documents. For every 10 approved documents, members earn 5 unlocks or 3 tutor questions (up to 9 per month). These rewards are valid for 30 days and do not carry over beyond the expiration period if unused.

Just remember, you must own the copyright to the notes you upload. If they're from a lecture by your professor, the professor can request Course Hero to remove them due to copyright violation.

If you find the free account sufficient for your needs, that's great. However, if you require access to a lot of resources, you might consider upgrading.

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