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Type of site
|Founded||October 2006Redwood City, Californiain|
|Headquarters||2000 Seaport Blvd|
Redwood City, California
|Registration||Optional (required for uploading and downloading documents, viewing full tutor answers and asking questions)|
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 contributed by a community of students and educators.
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.
Course Hero was founded by Andrew Grauer at Cornell University in 2006 for college students to share lectures, class notes, exams and assignments that usually went ignored. He believed that information is valuable and can be even more useful if properly indexed and accessible. The full website was launched in 2008 and the company is based in Redwood City, California.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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.
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. On August 7, 2012, Course Hero added a further 18 free skill-based courses to their catalog. 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
This is where educators can openly share knowledge and content through Course Hero. You can search through a library of video lectures by university, subject or instructor. This part of the website also offers a free directory of digital courses that are available on the Internet.
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.
Course Hero pages contain names, emails, addresses, and/or office locations of faculty and teaching assistants, with no indication that Course Hero was authorized to post/sell that information.
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 from the site's contracted workers.
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