Course Hero

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Course Hero
Course hero logo.png
Type of site
Internet Social learning network
Available in English
Slogan(s) Learn. Share. Teach. Achieve.
Alexa rank Increase 2,552 (April 2016)[1]

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.[2]


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.[3] He believed that information is valuable and can be even more useful if properly indexed and accessible.[4] The full website was launched in 2008 and the company is based in Redwood City, California.[5]

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.[6]


Study Documents[edit]

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.[7] 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.[8]

Expert Tutors[edit]

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.[citation needed]


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.[citation needed]


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.[9] On August 7, 2012, Course Hero added a further 18 free skill-based courses to their catalog.[10] 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[edit]

This is where educators can openly share knowledge and content through Course Hero[11]. 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.[citation needed]


Copyright concerns[edit]

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[12]


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.[13] 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.[14]


  1. ^ " Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 24 April 2016. 
  2. ^ Griffith, Erin (10 May 2012). "Course Hero, a DIY Education Startup, Is Now Paying Students*". 
  3. ^ Leiber, Nick (20 October 2011). "2011 Finalists: America's Best Young Entrepreneurs". BloombergBusinessweek. 
  4. ^ Chaker, Anne M. (9 April 2009). "Do Study Sites Make the Grade?". Wall Street Journal. 
  5. ^ "Course Hero: Crunchbase". 
  6. ^
  7. ^ Marty, Jerome (3 October 2012). "Course Hero Crowdsources Study Material From 2 Million Students". Entrepreneur. 
  8. ^ Tobac, Rachel (9 March 2014). "Course Hero Surpasses 200,000 Books Donated to Gambian Schools". Books For Africa. 
  9. ^ Constantine, Josh (12 April 2012). "Screw University, Course Hero Curates YouTube Into Free Business and Coding Classes". TechCrunch. 
  10. ^ Farr, Christina (7 August 2012). "Professors out, experts in! Course Hero adds 18 free skill-based courses". VentureBeat. 
  11. ^ Constine, Josh. "Screw University, Course Hero Curates YouTube Into Free Business and Coding Classes". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-09-26. 
  12. ^ Kolowich, Steve (6 October 2009). "Course Hero or Course Villain?". InsideHigerEd. 
  13. ^ Foderaro, Lisa W. (17 May 2009). "Psst! Need the Answer to No. 7? Click Here". The New York Times. 
  14. ^ Young, Jeffrey R. (28 March 2010). "High-Tech Cheating Abounds, and Professors Bear Some Blame". The Chronicle of Higher Education. 

External links[edit]