We all learn in different ways. More often than not, the classroom is not enough for lessons to be truly inculcated in our minds. An hour or so of lecture often leaves so many questions unanswered that would prove to be unhelpful in the long run, especially when it comes to assignments and exams that test our understanding. Thankfully, help can be found beyond the walls of the university and is accessible right at our palms. Hello, online learning platforms!
Chegg and Course Hero are two of the most cited examples of online learning platforms that addresses the shortcomings of the classroom. With it, users can learn at their own pace and time, and seek both fellow students and experts so that they eventually have a better grasp of lessons in the classroom. But with both having paid services, many will opt to use one platform over the other. The question now here is, which is the better choice between Chegg and Course Hero? To answer that, we’ll have to go through what each site has to offer. Let’s begin.
Chegg is an educational tool that has been around since 2001. Created by three students of the Iowa State University, Chegg offers tutorials, help with homework, internships and scholarships in addition to its primary service of textbook rentals for high school and university students. At a time when school textbooks are becoming more and more expensive, forcing students to spend hundreds of dollars on references alone, Chegg wanted to offer a cheaper alternative that is not unlike the streaming service Netflix. With Chegg, students can halve their textbook expenses, or save even more. Buying books with discounted prices is also an option. Since then, it has gained popularity among students, becoming one of the most used online platforms of its kind.
Studying with other students on Chegg is something many people are open to because many American institutions share the same references when it comes to certain subjects. It is less likely to go through the same textbook or subject on your own. When it comes to course-related questions, most of these have already been uploaded on the site with answers from fellow users, some even complete with a photo. The answers tend to be scant though for advanced subjects, so one should take those provided in such a case with more care. For other occasions, Chegg following a voting system helps weed out unhelpful answers.
For $14.95, users can avail of Textbook Solutions for more than 34,000 ISBNs, which shows answers as provided by graduates, as well as Expert Q&A. A subscription will also entitle you to a free 30-minute tutorial session. Chegg connects you to a live tutor, after which you would have to pay an additional $15 a week. Although there is no practice test option, Chegg comes with an app compatible with both iOS and Android for better learning.
Strength: Textbook rentals, app, answers reviewed by other usersStrength: Textbook rentals, app, answers reviewed by other users
Area for improvement: Absence of practice problems
Lesser known and younger than Chegg, Course Hero is founded by a Cornell University alumnus Andrew Grauer in 2006. A big difference between Chegg and Course Hero is that the latter is not another home for textbook rentals unlike the former. Instead, what Grauer envisioned was having students upload and share their notes, lectures, assignments and exams because he believed in the value of the information contained in these documents.
Students aren’t the only ones encouraged to access Course Hero. Even teachers and professors could subscribe to gain access to 20 million study resources for different subjects, the number taken from Course Hero itself. These guides, which are downloadable, were contributed by its pool of users and could also be reviewed by others, although they are lesser in number than Chegg’s. Course Hero grants access with a $9.95 per month subscription, but for people with tight budgets, they can upload their own study notes instead which will then open access to other resources.
The upload option is as good as a subscription, and this also unlocks a tutorial service which is free upon uploading or paying $9.95. The tutors are available all hours of the day to make the subject easier for you to understand. They are also able to assist you step-by-step in case you need to have a more careful go-through with your homework. On the flip side, you can also apply as a tutor and earn money from it if you feel that you can impart your knowledge on a subject.
Practice problems, which you can tackle at your own time, are available. However, Course Hero suffers from a confusing interface that might frustrate many knowledge seekers. Moreover, its smaller number of subscribers can be a disadvantage: the answers for specific topics are fewer and less reviewed as a result.
Strength: More accessible subscription that already includes tutorial service
Areas for improvement: Quality control of uploaded documents, not as easy to flag doubtful answers as Chegg’s
Course Hero may be more accessible for students, but with Chegg’s textbooks and larger number of users, the tools are more reliable and subjected to reviews and peer correction. Chegg’s system of voting for answers also helps in determining which are correct or should be improved.