With a massive library of online study tools, Course Hero has become a go-to online learning platform for more than 20 million students and educators. But just because it is popular, is Course Hero worth paying for? Is Course Hero worth it?
Course hero is worth it. It is a highly trusted online learning platform that delivers on its promises. It lets you upload and access files anonymously, and you can also get a tutor 24/7. If you’re really interested in the learning materials they offer, check out their website before signing up for a Premier Membership.
Read on to learn more about Course Hero, its membership plans, and alternative learning platforms.
What Is Course Hero?
Andrew Grauer, a graduate of Cornell University, founded Course Hero in 2006. He intended to create an online learning platform where college students could share old exams, class assignments, lecture notes, practice problems, study guides, textbook solutions, and videos from all classes from their schools and around the country.
Today, users have access to over 20 million course-specific study aids.
Not only that, but you can also join or form a study group. And if you need help to solve your homework, expert tutors are available all day and all week to give you detailed explanations. They promise to help you with any subject matter (accounting, biology, economics, history, etc.) in as fast as 15 minutes.
How does it work?
Course Hero offers two types of memberships:
If you sign up for a Basic Membership, you don’t need to pay anything. The downside is you only get to access the following study tools and services:
- Pay for every question that you submit to their 24/7 Homework Help
- Access to their literature infographics
- Browse (not view or download) study documents in their library
To become a Premier member, you have to pay a fee of $9.95 (yearly), $19.95 (quarterly), or $39.95. (monthly). Depending on the plan you signed up for, you have access to everything included in the Basic Membership plus the following:
- 30 documents and/or User Questions every month
- More than 25 million course-specific study tools
- Unlimited access to Homework Help
- Unlimited access to their textbook solutions and explanations
- Receive up to 40 tutor questions
Whether you’ve signed up for the Basic Membership or Premier Membership, you can earn Unlocks and Questions (5 Unlocks or 3 Questions) by submitting at least ten of your own study materials to their library.
Course Hero Pros and Cons
With so many helpful resources available on their website, Course Hero is truly a great learning platform for both students and professionals. We want to go through a few of its pros and cons before making up your mind about signing up for a service like it:
Let’s start with the pros of using Course Hero:
Ease of Access to Learning Materials
Not all people can study at a school that offers up-to-date materials or services to foster a supportive learning experience. By giving class notes, homework problems, old exams, textbook answers, tutorial services, and even scholarship opportunities, Course Hero (and others like it) levels the playing field for those students from different socioeconomic groups.
Access and Create the Best Study Guides
It’s not always easy to study, especially if you’re drowning in information. Course Hero gives you access to millions of study guides for the most popular courses and subjects (college algebra, history, literature, sociology, etc.).
These study guides offer in-depth analysis, essays, examples, infographics, and more, which can help you create a study guide that’s most beneficial to you and help you get better test results.
The Basic Membership might be limited, but it’s still worth considering if you’re not prepared to pay a recurring fee for access. You can always share your own study materials to view other users’ works or post questions for tutors. If you upload ten documents, you get free five unlocks or three tutor questions.
Like other learning platforms, Course Hero has its fair share of criticisms from past and current users. Here are two of them:
Takes Long to Get Answers
The promise is you’ll get an explanation for most of your questions within 15 minutes of your submission. However, according to some reports, Course Hero doesn’t live up to its promise. Instead of 15 minutes, you might’ve to wait an hour or longer to get an answer from any of their tutors.
Planning to be a tutor on Course Hero? Before you do, you should know that students can easily mark your answer as “Unhelpful” if they’re unhappy with it. What’s worse is Course Hero might most likely side with them. And that means you won’t get paid.
Course Hero Alternatives
If you’ve never heard of Course Hero before until now, you’re probably wondering if other websites offer similar resources. The good news is there are. The bad news is not all of them are worth your time and money. In general, Chegg is the next best alternative to Course Hero.
Below is an overview of each alternative to Course Hero to help you make a more informed decision.
Chegg is a California-based company that has around 3.7 million subscribers as of 2020. It’s not free, but they offer a 28-day free trial, which gives you limited access to answers, documents, and tutorial resources.
One of the best reasons to use Chegg is their rent/buy textbook (eBook and printed book) service. It makes it possible for students to save a lot of money by:
- Allowing them to compare the prices of textbooks for sale and rent
- Slashing up to 90% off college books for rent
- Having convenient rental terms (return books you rented when the semester or the school year ends)
Most of their books for rent also come with 4-week free access to Chegg Study. That means you’ll benefit from their:
- Step-by-step textbook solutions (for 5 different textbooks monthly)
- Post 20 study questions monthly
- Full access to solved homework questions
In 2015, Antik Gupta and Deepak Joy Cheenath created Quizizz. This free interactive tool allows students and teachers to “go live” at the same time using their Android or iOS-enabled device, web browser, and Chrome extensions and apps.
Here are a few features of Quizizz:
- Learning can be instructor-led or self-paced.
- Students view questions on their own devices.
- Instructors can set a deadline for their students so that they can answer questions at their own pace.
- Students can join games without logging into an account.
- Teachers can give tests online (without grading them) and manage course materials through the Quizizz Learning Management System (LMS).
- Tutors can add memes to tests to make them more fun.
- Teachers can play quiz games with their students. (Note: Each game carries a unique code that expires after the game ends.)
- Teachers can access and save reports at any time, as well as export or share results.
If you or your child like to play and learn at the same time, you’ll love Kahoot! It’s a popular game-based tool for implementing active and cooperative virtual learning in real-time. It’s also great for hosting virtual game nights with your family and friends.
Here’s how it works:
- Go to the navigation bar at the bottom screen, and then tap ‘Create’ to make your own learning game from scratch in just a few minutes.
- Host a live game together with your students through video or in class. Students can view the questions and answers on a shared screen or their devices. Note: Your students don’t need an account to play.
- Students who want to learn and play at their own pace set a deadline for them to complete the game. Don’t forget to turn off the question timer.
Anki is a free app for making your own flashcards. It uses an evidence-based learning method called spaced repetition to make memorization simpler and more efficient. Spaced repetition requires you to review certain information that you need to memorize at slowly increasing intervals.
Anki allows you to categorize your flashcards in any way you find helpful. This makes it easier for you to search and study specific topics or lectures. For instance, your general tag could be “motion,” then under that, you could have “rotational motion,” “periodic motion,” and “circular motion” as subtopics.
The unique thing about this platform is you can tell the program the difficulty level of each question. Based on your feedback, the program will focus more on the areas you find difficult to get the most out of your study time.
Quizlet is free to use by students and teachers. It provides various engaging tools to help students review lessons and prepare for tests, including study modes (Flashcards, Learn, Write, Spell, Test, Match, and Gravity) and games. A teacher can also create (or copy-paste from another source) “study sets” to keep information organized.
There are plenty of reasons to try Quizlet. For instance, it’s suitable for any grade level or type of learner because it’s flexible and has customizable features. Students can also study more efficiently because they don’t need to go through tons of notes or make their own study aids.
But it’s not perfect. One of the biggest flaws of Quizlet (free version) is it has ads on almost every page of the website. If you want to get rid of the ads, you can sign up for its paid versions: Quizlet Go ($35.88 per year) and Quizlet Plus ($47.88 per year).
Other Things You Need to Know About Course Hero
Despite its popularity and benefits, there might be a few questions about Course Hero that are still bothering you. So, let’s go through three of the common questions or objections for using this learning platform:
Is Course Hero Safe and Legit?
Yes, Course Hero is legit and safe to use.
It’s not to say that there are no people who make serious accusations against the company. There are. For instance, there have been reports that Course Hero kicks out tutors without paying them first. Or, apparently, there are documents on the site that aren’t owned by the person who uploaded them.
I can’t really verify the veracity of those complaints. But if you think about it, Course Hero has been in business since 2006. That’s more than ten years! In my opinion—feel free to disagree with me—it would be difficult for the company to operate for years if they were scamming people.
Is Using Course Hero Cheating?
The biggest problem with online learning platforms, such as Course Hero, is they provide all the resources people need to cheat. Unfortunately, there are a lot of students who access their content with the intent of doing so.
Now, the question is, will you get caught if you try to cheat using Course Hero?
The opinion varies. Since people can upload materials anonymously, it’s difficult to track down and punish those who intend to cheat.
But you should know that Course Hero allows plagiarism prevention tools, such as SafeAssign, to access their site. This means there’s a possibility you could get caught if you cheated using Course Hero.
Suggestion: The best thing you can do is ask your teachers or professors what outside help they deem acceptable.
Does Course Hero Inform Your School?
Why would they? That isn’t good for business. The only problem is if your professors also use Course Hero and find the files you uploaded to the site.
Suggestion: Don’t put too much identifying information on your profile to avoid raising suspicion.
Conclusion – Is Course Hero Worth It?
Course Hero remains to be the go-to open platform by many educators and students. They offer many perks and services to their users, including 24/7 tutor help and over 20 million course materials. If you really want to know if it’s worth it, go to their website and sign up for a free (or paid) membership today.
But as I’ve pointed out earlier, it has downsides that you need to consider seriously. So, take your time in comparing your options to make sure you’ve made the best choice.
Overall, Course Hero is a safe online learning platform that’s worth consideration. It has an abundance of resources that could help you make the most out of your study time, so you can always stay a step ahead.