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Type of site
|Internet Social learning network|
|Slogan(s)||Learn. Share. Teach. Achieve.|
|Alexa rank||2,552 (April 2016[update])|
Course Hero is a crowdsourced online learning platform for students to access study resources like course materials, flashcards, educational videos and tutors. Its educator portal is a micropublishing platform for educators to distribute their educational resources. Course Hero collects and organizes study materials like practice exams, problem sets, syllabi, flashcards, class notes and study guides from users who upload. Users either buy a subscription or upload documents in order to receive membership and access website material.
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 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.
The website also has an application for students to make digital flashcards. Users can create, study, quiz and share the material they make. On January 30, 2012, Course Hero launched Optimal Learn, a tool added to the flashcards application that allows students to set a deadline for when they want to master their material. The programs has students "study at the key intervals that maximize retention", including a combination of review and mini-quizzes. Users are reminded of their progress and when to study next via email notifications. Course Hero Flashcards also rewards students for studying through a badge system as they progress through their course material. The flashcards are free for all users.
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. 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. Legal experts caution against invoking copyright laws in an attempt to slow Course Hero or related businesses
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. While faculty who reuse the same homework/exams semester after semester bear some of the blame, websites like Course Hero are not blameless in the controversy.
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