Getting a degree can be a rewarding experience and a bumpy road for even the most experienced student. Last-minute assignments, piled-up deadlines, unclear college professor’s instructions, and writer’s block can make a simple task like writing an essay a complete nightmare. The good news is that many other students were once in the same position as you and are willing to help you, even if they don’t know you directly. That is why today, we are going to offer you an honest review of Course Hero.
First things first, what’s Coursehero? Well, it is one place where you can receive this type of help when you are in need. This website is a resource-sharing platform where you can find study guides, old projects, papers, and lecture notes for almost all the college classes you can imagine. Through an “unlock” system that encourages posting from its users, you can access all kinds of study materials that can offer the extra-push you need to write.
However, as many clients tell us here at Gradehacker, reliableness is an aspect that can’t be taken for granted. How legit can a platform like Course Hero be? If you use it, is it plagiarism? What’s the level of quality of the content you can find there? These are fair questions that we hear all the time. Since we are always checking for the best academic sources, we decided to check on Course Hero and let you know if it stands up to all the hype.
So here we go, let's review Course Hero and checks its benefits, features, and costs in 2020!
What's Course Hero? Features and Benefits
As mentioned, Course Hero is a document-sharing platform centered mostly on previously written content by other students for their college assignments. There are three main features this website offers to college students:
Document sharing: Course Hero lets you see previously written assignments from people that have taken the same classes as you. Essays, discussions, class notes, or lab reports, whatever someone felt confident enough to share, will be found here.
Some people are concerned that Course Hero promotes plagiarism and cheating. Still, this website, at its core, works more like a huge online study group created by former and current students rather than a source for original content that you can present as yours.
The idea is not to copy from them but more like take inspiration and guidance from others' experiences. Course Hero is a great option for students looking for research material or struggling with their studies.
24/7 Expert Tutor assistance: Here, you can ask a specific question to an expert tutor in your area of interest, and you will get a reply in less than 15 minutes via email. This is an excellent way to get on the right track when you are stuck in a challenging yet very particular subject.
Below is a screenshot of the 24/7 Expert Tutor assistance. Here you can input your question and get an email when it is resolved.
Textbook Solutions option: Here, you can get solutions and explanations for different books, activities, and questions. This is a new feature, so their catalog might be a bit limited, but they improve it each passing week.
You can find solutions for almost any subject that you will find in any college class through this Course Hero feature
To gain access to all of these features, there is a system that works with "unlock points." How does the unlock system work?
The unlock system allows you to read and download complete documents and access other features from the sites such as the 24/7 Expert Tutor assistance. There are three ways to obtain unlock points: post your own content, rate other people’s submissions, or get a paid subscription.
This is how an average document looks on Course Hero before you unlock it.
The first two methods are totally free and depend only on how many documents you submit or rate in the platform. However, keep in mind that this process can get tedious. Yes, the more content you share and the more ratings you give, the more unlocks you get, but rewards are not proportional to your effort in getting them. When you are in a hurry and out of unlock points, this system will definitely be a turn-off.
You can rate any document in Course Hero like this and get unlock points to see other people’s contributions.
Paid subscriptions offer you a more unlimited experience that does not require you to meet any of the above conditions. For a price, you can get, see, and download as many documents you want to. You’ll also get between 10 to 40 questions for a 24/7 Expert Tutor.
So how much does Course Hero cost?
You can use Course Hero and all its features for free as long as you meet the requirements to get unlocks. However, it is a tiresome process, and if you are an avid user at some point, you will get tired of submitting content and ratings. When this happens, there is always the option of a paid subscription that offers the following benefits:
- 24/7 homework help from our expert tutors
- Unlock 30 documents per month
- Access Course Hero’s library of over 25 million course-specific study resources
- Unlimited access to textbook solutions, which are step-by-step explanations to popular textbook questions, verified by educators.
The monthly pricing depends on the type of subscription. For example, if you pick a monthly plan, you will pay $39.99 per month. For the quarterly plan, you will pay $19.95, and if you go for an annual plan, you will only pay $9.95 monthly.
We recommend thinking carefully about it and decide if Course Hero will be a tool that might help you during your entire degree or just for a challenging class.
Is Course hero the right fit for you?
An education platform is only good as long as it is comfortable to use. If it is too convoluted or requires a high learning curve, students may feel they waste precious time just learning how to access the service. Luckily, the Course Hero interface and reward system are intuitive, so even the less tech-savvy users will feel at ease.
As mentioned before, Course Hero is not a writing service of sorts! If you are in a time crunch and need someone else to take care of your assignment entirely, there are options like hiring an essay writer.
Course Hero is the perfect study platform for the ones that want guidance and a pat in the back, so they know they are on the right track. The limitations of the free subscription can be frustrating. Still, the paid subscription has accessible prices that can be seen more like self-investing in getting a good grade than just spending money carelessly.
Are sites like Scribd and Quizlet similar to Course Hero?
The answer is yes, and no. While both have things in common, the levels of content curation and usage vary between each other. For example, Quizlet is a sharing platform, but here, others share their own study flashcards, guides, and memory games created through the website. In a way, Quizlet and Course Hero can complement their best features but are not a replacement for each other.
Quizlet offers study activities related to the content you will find in a specific class but not documents such as essays or notes.
On the other hand, Scribd is, at its core, a document-sharing platform that also works with some sort of unlock system. However, it is not explicitly designed to host content related to college classes. If a document, PDF, or book passes the screening process guidelines, you will get a free unlock. This brings a problem of quality since you will find valuable study guides and completely unrelated content in equal parts. For example, as long as you have words in a document, no matter if they make sense or are valuable for someone else, they will be approved as “content” by Scribd, and you will get a free unlock.
Scribd has quite a similar interface and system as Course Hero, but the quality of the content is debatable.
Not only would this be direct plagiarism, but it will also be detected through online checkers such as Grammarly. There is a high chance that your professor will find the document familiar because, after all, it was probably written for their class.
As mentioned before, Course Hero has a free membership, and you can access “unlocks” by adding new content yourself or rating the content of others. Unfortunately, this system might not be too convenient if you are struggling with a class or semester, and you need access to new content constantly. If you are in this position, you might want to opt for memberships that provide the most value according to Course Hero reviews by students.
Does that sound good? I bet it does, but sometimes, you don’t have enough time to look for other classmates’ notes, summarize it and make them look coherent. If you are definitely and utterly overwhelmed or just want to plan ahead, you can always look for other options. Platforms like Gradehacker offer you help on all the assignments of your classes or even throughout your degree. If you need a single essay or discussion, that is fine too. Now study assistance services are helpful resources just as Course Hero and many other similar ones.