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Should You Buy Notes from OneClass or Course Hero?

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OneClass Blog
19 Sep 2018
6 min read
Choosing the best note-taking platform can be difficult. You may be weighing the value of the notes that you’re purchasing and considering their potential impact on your academic career. OneClass and Course Hero are two major platforms where you can purchase notes for college courses. You may be asking yourself questions like " OneClass available at my school?" or "how much does Course Hero cost?" Below, we’ll compare the platforms side-by-side to help you decide which is the best note-taking marketplace for you.

OneClass vs. Course Hero: Quality of Class Notes

When purchasing class notes online, the quality of the materials can determine the impact they can make on your grades. Since both OneClass and Course Hero are creating online communities around crowd-sourced content, some variation is to be expected in note quality. However, the two platforms treat the issue differently. With a OneClass unlimited subscription, users get access to more than 10 million pages of study documents that have been generated by top university students. Comparatively, the Course Hero platform says it offers seven million crowdsourced documents. While Course Hero defines the type of documents that note-takers can upload, it doesn't indicate that notes are from top students or students with a certain academic rating. Additionally, Course Hero doesn't offer any quality incentives to note-takers, as OneClass does with its Elite Note Taker program. With OneClass, note takers that produce high-quality documents can earn 400% more, which is a strong motivator to produce and upload superb materials.

OneClass vs. Course Hero: Impact on Grades

While the academic impact of the two platforms will vary by student, making comparison difficult, there are some points we can use to consider how each platform's notes may affect your grade. OneClass reports that across its 2.2 million student members, over 90% have improved by at least one letter grade. That’s a significant academic impact that can be the difference in keeping a scholarship, getting into grad school, impressing a future employer, or pleasing your parents. As of this writing, the impact of a Course Hero subscription on members’ grades hasn't been reported. Course Hero does offer a Better Grades Guarantee, which offers a refund to students who used a certain amount of education resources but didn't see a higher GPA for the academic term. While Course Hero’s improved GPA guarantee does demonstrate the potential impact on your grades, it could be the slight improvement to a 3.1 GPA from a 3.0. Comparatively, the majority of OneClass students are showing a full letter grade improvement.

OneClass vs. Course Hero: Additional Study Tools

Both OneClass and Course Hero know that class notes are only one aspect of getting good grades, and each platform offers supplementary study tools. Course Hero’s Tutor Questions program lets students purchase on-demand help through submitting questions online and having them answered by subject matter experts. Basic members can purchase answers à la carte, and Premier Members get up to 40 Tutor Questions. Course Hero also offers additional materials such as literature study guides, which are free for members. With OneClass, the platform offers the Solvit app, which connects members who have homework questions with other members who know the answers. Covering a range of subjects, including science, math, English, history, economics, and medicine, this information marketplace gives students opportunities to earn credits by answering questions and spending credits when they need help with a question. OneClass also offers student-prepared Study Guides which can help you jump right into studying for your exams. Whether you’re preparing for a regular exam or an important one like a midterm or final, study guides will help you stay focused on the material that matters for that test.

How Much Does OneClass or Course Hero Cost?

The subscription costs of OneClass and Course Hero are nearly the same, with plan differences being less than a dollar. OneClass note-takers use their credits to unlock documents; so, for example, a student who’s good in history can get the detailed math notes needed. However, you don’t need to contribute notes to get access to the platform’s helpful resources. OneClass rates for an unlimited subscription:
  • Monthly: $39.98 per month
  • Semester: $59.94 for three months
  • Annual: $119.76 for the year

How much does Course Hero cost?

For Course Hero, a free Basic Membership lets students who've uploaded their own notes unlock other documents. A Premier Membership is necessary for all other students to fully view and download study documents. Course Hero Premier Membership costs:
  • Monthly: $39.95 per month
  • Semester: $59.85 for three months
  • Annual: $119.40 per year
With average college tuition costing $22,432 per year in the U.S., the annual cost of these academic resources is an affordable tool that can have a big impact on your educational investment.

OneClass vs. Course Hero: Benefits for Note Takers

For note takers who are uploading documents, both OneClass and Course Hero offer site currency which can be used to unlock other documents on the site. However, OneClass is the only platform that also lets you exchange site currency for cash or gift cards. So if at the end of the semester you end up with extra OneClass credits that you didn’t need, use OneClass perks to cash them in for a gift card for Amazon, Starbucks, Target, Paypal, or more. With these cash incentives, submitting notes can become an easy side hustle. It’s like getting a free Domino’s pizza delivery for something that you were already doing.

OneClass vs. Course Hero: Conclusion

With the subscription costs of the two platforms being nearly equal, the deciding factor when purchasing class notes is the value of what you're getting. Course Hero offers a Better Grade Guarantee for qualified students who've used enough resources who are guaranteed a GPA improvement for the academic term. Whereas this improvement using Course Hero can be as little as a 0.1 difference, a survey of OneClass members found that over 90% have improved by at least one letter grade after using the platform materials, demonstrating a significant academic impact. Both platforms offer auxiliary educational resources that go beyond class notes. In particular, OneClass’ information marketplace Solvit can help you get answers fast and study guides can help you prepare for your exams. * Prices and details as of September 2018 image attribution: stokkete -


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