Course Hero is an online learning platform that can be really helpful considering it has upwards of 30 million resources for pretty much any course you can think of but is course hero cheating with your future?
The platform allows students access to resources such as study guides, class notes, textbook solutions, and much more.
However, students should approach Course Hero with caution as they may be reprehended for cheating if they are caught copying its contents for their papers.
The main goal of the platform is to aid students in studying, but it is actually causing several plagiarism problems.
Throughout this article, we’ll go over in detail what is and is not classified as cheating as well as how you can safely use Course Hero (see also ‘Can I Cancel Course Hero Anytime?‘) without fear of cheating.
Is It Cheating?
There are ways to use the online learning platform in ways that aren’t considered cheating, such as learning how to format papers, understanding how to put across your argument, or for inspiration purposes.
However, if you are using the papers (even just parts of them) on the site and turning them in as your own, well then, that is plagiarism. And plagiarism is cheating.
When Using Course Hero Will Be Seen As Cheating
What is classified as cheating? Using dishonest means to gain an advantage over your fellow students.
Some institutions may see the use of Course Hero (see also ‘How Much Is Course Hero?‘) at all as cheating while others will allow it as long as you are not copying papers directly. It’s important to check your specific institution’s policy on such matters.
If you use the platform when it is against the will of your professor or instructor, then yes, you are technically cheating.
If you are copying answers directly from the platform, you have an advantage over fellow students relying solely on provided resources and thus you are cheating.
Copying answers, or papers, directly from the platform is a massive no-no, as this is a form of plagiarism. And not only is it unfair on your fellow students, but you’re also cheating yourself.
You aren’t actually learning anything by copying answers and therefore you are not being educated.
And as you progress, things are just going to get more and more difficult as you do not have that base understanding or knowledge that your other classmates will have built.
When Using Course Hero Will Not Be Seen As Cheating
If you decide to use Course Hero (see also our article on the Course Hero free trial), you’ll need to be really disciplined with yourself. Seeing the answer to a question in your course and not copying the answer directly is pretty difficult to do – but it will get you in trouble.
Course Hero is seen as an honest platform when it is being used for guidance as opposed to answers.
For example, if you’ve tried several times to solve a question but just have no idea how to go about it, you can use the platform to give you advice as to how to tackle the problem.
Course Hero should be used to grow your understanding of certain topics, not to give you direct answers to questions that you don’t know. It should be a learning platform, not a answers cheat sheet.
How To Use Course Hero Safely & Avoid Cheating
If you want to use the platform for its bountiful resources without cheating/plagiarising here are a few ways to go about it:
- Paraphrasing The Answer – Make sure that you are not directly quoting or copying the answer. Read it, think about it, process it, and then rewrite it in your own words and prove that you understand what you are saying.
- Avoid Similar Copies – Again, ensure that what you write is not very similar to what is written on Course Hero. Use different words, change your tone, and reword the sentences. Do not copy and paste.
- Use Different View Points + Expand Upon Answers – If there are short answers on Course Hero, expand upon them and never copy the points exactly. Maybe look at the points and see what other points of view you can find for the answer.
- Compare DON’T Copy – A good way to use Course Hero is to write your own answers and then compare your answers with the resources to ensure that you are on the right track.
Can Course Hero Get You Into Trouble?
It all really depends on the way in which you use the platform. If you are directly copying or using most of the answers as your own, then there is a good chance that you will get yourself into trouble for cheating and plagiarism.
If your school has a direct policy against the platform, then do not use it.
You will get caught out, trust me, professors have ways of knowing. And you will get punished for doing so. And these punishments are by no means lenient, and you may even get kicked off your course.
Personally, I wouldn’t advise using Course Hero. If you are self-disciplined enough to ensure that you can use the learning platform in ways that aren’t going to get you in trouble, then sure it can be a really helpful way of finding extra resources.
However, I find that the risk is just not worth the help that you do get. The temptation to copy answers seems to be just too strong for most students.
And even when you are trying your best to keep the content original and your own, it can be so easy to even subconsciously copy what you’ve read. And I don’t think it’s worth ruining your academic status over.
If you are struggling with certain parts of your course, I think it is much more effective to just sit down with your professor and ask them for extra help or resources.
It’s likely that they’ll be able to explain everything you need to know face to face, and you won’t run the risk of cheating in your studies.