Students have multiple options when it comes to help with academics. Technology has made it possible for education to expand from the classroom into online learning sites that can be accessed anywhere at any time. Collaboration is a driving force in online education and companies such as Koofers are taking advantage of the fact that students can learn from each other via class notes and flashcards, exchange information about classes, and rate their professors in a college-friendly online environment. Koofers offers free access upon site registration.
Chegg, an online student hub, provides members with 24/7 access to professors and other community experts for help with homework questions. Membership fees are $6.95/month (billed annually) or $14.95/month.
Course Hero is another player in the online educational space and they offer students access to over seven million crowd-sourced study materials and 24/7 access to online tutors. Premium access comes at a price - membership fees range from $7.95/month - $39.95/month.
Covered in this report
Course Hero provides members with access to study materials from multiple schools and colleges for free.
Course Hero offers video lectures featuring popular educators.
Best for: Students who prefer to use study materials from a variety of colleges and learning institutions, as well as students interested in taking online courses.
Chegg offers 24/7 access to tutors for homework help at an affordable rate.
Chegg's points system can be used for Q&A assistance or can be redeemed for rewards.
Best for: Students who need quick answers and solutions to homework questions and enterprising community members who can provide expert answers in return for gift card rewards.
Koofers customizes study materials to a particular college or school.
Koofers encourages online collaboration between students, professors, and other members of the academic community.
Best for: Students who want homework solutions customized to their current course schedule at their individual school.
Technology is the driving force that is moving education outside of the classroom. Students have been using online sites for help with homework, reviewing lecture notes, and taking practice exams for years and the trend continues to grow. This review takes a look at three online education resource companies that provide innovation study solutions to their student members - Chegg, Koofers, and Course Hero.
Based in Santa Clara, CA, Chegg started out as a textbook rental company and has now grown into a popular online student hub offering multiple learning solutions to college students. Chegg provides online and offline textbook rentals, solution manuals, homework help, and scholarships. The company's mission is to help students "save time, save money, and get smarter" and they have partnered with top publishers to bring the latest educational resources to their customers.
One of Chegg's main learning platforms is Homework Help, which offers 24/7 online study help. Students can ask homework questions at any time on any day of the year and receive detailed answers and solutions almost immediately from Chegg's network of professors, graduate students, and other community members. Homework Help covers a variety of courses, from Accounting to World History, and members have access to over 2 million archived Q&A submissions.
Chegg offers the following membership plans for Homework Help:
- $6.25/month - $74.95 billed annually (7-day free trial)
- $14.95/month - billed monthly (7-day free trial)
They accept credit cards and PayPal. You may cancel your membership online any time within the 7-day free trial period to avoid being charged for the full plan (make sure to get confirmation of membership cancellation).
Once you sign up for membership (using a regular email account or Facebook), you get unlimited access to millions of textbook solutions and online homework answers. You also get 5,000 points each month to use when asking questions on the site. The more points you allocate to your question, the faster you get an answer.
The points system is Chegg's virtual currency, with the philosophy being that a higher allotment of points makes your question more visible or "attractive" to the community experts. E.g., for a sample Accounting question on capitalization of computer software, there is a significant difference in answer probability based on the number of points allocated:
Membership points roll over from month to month (if you don't use them within three months, they expire) and students can always purchase more points if needed.
Members can also earn points by answering questions online (this option is available to free users as well as paid members). Chegg awards points based on the answer ratings - top quality answers are awarded a higher number of points, which can be used for Homework Help questions or redeemed for rewards in the form of gift cards from Target, Amazon, Starbucks, and other partners.
Chegg provides multiple options for help, information, or feedback. You can review the FAQ section, chat with them online, send a tweet, or call 1-888-364-8596.
Koofers is an education website that provides students with free access to testbanks, practice exams, class and professor ratings, and other helpful learning tools. The company was founded in 2008 and is headquartered in Blacksburg, VA, the home of Virginia Tech. At Virginia Tech, past exam papers are called "Koofers" which is how the company got its name. Over 870,000 students use Koofers for help with classes and exams.
Koofers is a free site but you must sign up to get full access to its offerings.
After becoming a member you must first update your academic profile (school, major, graduation date) before you can begin browsing the site for lecture notes, exams, quizzes, flashcards, etc. related to your current school/classes. You can also view videos if you prefer a more visual learning option.
Here's an example of what you can get in the Flashcards section:
A well-defined Koofers profile earns Karma points. You can update your profile by adding classes, uploading documents, linking to your Facebook account, etc. The more Karma points you have, the higher your rank on the member leaderboard. You can even become a Koofers 'guru.'
If you miss a class, Koofers has Class Notes and class ratings, including GPA statistics and grade data (obtained directly from official school records). Koofers' mission is to encourage social learning through collaboration so all the data on the site is of the highest academic integrity.
Koofers also provides a free textbook finder, class schedule maker, and a GPA calculator. For career-focused students, there is a Job Bank which features companies offering internships and full-time job opportunities. You can apply for employment opportunities after completing a work profile.
Koofers Deals also offers coupons and vouchers for 50-90% deals at local campus eateries, restaurants, and bars.
For help with questions, account issues, or other inquiries, you can contact Koofers using an online contact form or write to them at the following address:
Koofers Blacksburg Koofers, Inc. 432 North Main Street Suite 200 Blacksburg, VA 24060
Course Hero is based in Redwood City, CA and was founded in 2008 by Andy Grauer, a Cornell University student who missed a class and wanted to find an easier way to get caught up. Now, Course Hero has evolved into a digital learning company offering a host of educational services that help students learn more effectively. They cater to all students of all ages - college, high school, or adult learners.
Course Hero provides crowd-sourced study guides, lecture notes, flashcards, online courses, and textbooks. They also provide online tutors and 24/7 Q&A help. The site receives millions of visits annually and the company states that 93% of its student users have seen their grades improve.
For free access to Course Hero, all you have to do is upload documents. Free use is based on the number of documents loaded:
- 40 docs = 1 month free
- 80 docs = 3 months free
- 160 docs = 6 months free
- 400 docs = 12 months free
With an upgraded membership you can download over seven million study materials, get 24/7 access to tutors, and up to $100 in credits for all your questions. The membership plans are detailed below:
Course Hero does not limit your learning options to your particular school - you can browse any course or subject at any college or school featured on the site. If you need help with a homework question, simply select the subject topic, attach necessary documents, and add a due date and time (most responses are started within 15 minutes but expect a minimum of four hours before your question is answered in full).
You will have to pay for the help - and obviously the more you pay, the quicker you'll get an answer. Course Hero guarantees customer satisfaction:
In addition to study materials, Course Hero also offers free and premium online courses covering subjects ranging from Business to Software. You can choose a single course or learn from one of the three course paths (Business, Entrepreneurship, or Web Programming).
Course Hero also maintains a Video Lecture site, where members can follow educators, view their lectures, and interact with and learn from the community of teachers.
Contact Course Hero
For general inquiries, Course Hero has a FAQ site. For other questions you can call, email, or write: