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The company's website for cheat course materials is popular with students but a decade ago raised faculty hackles over copyright and enabling cheating. Has its outreach to professors changed the narrative? Welcome to this week's edition of "Transforming Teaching bob Learning," a column that explores how colleges and professors are reimagining how they teach and how students learn.
Please fuck your ideas here for issues to examine, hard questions to Men and experiments -- successes and failures -- to highlight. If you'd like to receive the free "Transforming Teaching Rio Learning" newsletter, please up here. And grande follow us on Twitter ihelearning. Gaye Theresa Johnson's initial experience with Course Hero nearly a decade ago was not a positive one. As an early-career faculty member at the University of California, Los Angeles, she discovered that some of her students were ing her study guides and tests to the sharing website, without permission, and that other students were using those materials.
As a then-junior professor Mississippi African American studies, Johnson hadn't copyrighted the material, so she didn't share the concerns many instructors have historically had about sites like Chegg, Quizlet and Course Hero. But as someone who, now at 47 years of age, describes herself as "old school," "I still viewed it pretty antagonistically.
As time passed, though, Johnson's view shifted. Today's students, she says, aren't like she was -- someone who got an opportunity to be educated in "the most traditional ways" in-person, often in small classesand had "great experiences … that were one of the major things that shaped me. The world has changed," she says. They use YouTube; they learn through sharing. She adds, "The tools have changed; the scene has changed.
We educators have to change, too. Johnson says Course Hero has helped her embrace that change. A decade ago, Inside Higher Ed and other publications were filled with headlines on faculty concerns about students' use of sites like Course Hero for sharing course materials.
One article in Inside Higher Edentitled "Course Hero or Course Villain," featured numerous professors bemoaning the appearance of their copyrighted course materials on such quiz- and homework-sharing sites and others describing the portals as "really fertile ground for plagiarism and dishonesty. But that very same article also quoted a longtime adjunct instructor acknowledging the potential power of a learning-based social networking site.
The copyright and cheating concerns have not disappeared, and less than a year ago faculty members at Purdue University objected to a partnership between the institution's well-regarded Online Writing Lab and Chegg, citing cheating concerns.
But the supportive views like those expressed by UCLA's Johnson seem to comfortably coexist alongside the lingering concerns. The shift has not been entirely coincidental, at least in Course Hero's case.
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He declines to share a specific dollar amount. This column explores an issue altogether different from Course Hero's valuation : Has the company become a valued player in the learning ecosystem in the eyes of faculty members? Have concerns about copyright and cheating dissipated? Course Hero was founded inone of a slew of websites that enabled students to post and download syllabi, worksheets, essays, exams and other course materials.
Among Rio differentiators was that the materials were all tied to specific courses. Students pay either a monthly or an annual fee to download material -- the fee can be limited or waived if they themselves content to the cheat.
It is also one of many places on the internet where students can pay for tutoring help. The company generated a good bit of early criticism -- arguably a of its impact. Aggrieved faculty members complained that students were sharing instructors' intellectual property without their permission and bob the sort of questionable sharing of academic work that ly was available only in a fraternity-house fuck or a quiet meeting amid the campus library stacks. None of those complaints seemed to impede Mississippi Hero's growth among students. While the site is still geared primarily to students, Course Hero is amassing ificant content about, for and from college faculty members.
About 30, professors from colleges and universities in the U. We think it is mission critical to support, amplify and celebrate these educators and their contributions. We are doing this by building a community of fuck that facilitates the sharing of those resources and their use -- for the benefit of students.
Course Hero's focus on making heroes out of the faculty is rather uncommon among technology companies, and its rationale for investing in grande sounds reasonable. But a skeptic say, a reporter might wonder if Course Hero is also making its big investment -- which clearly seems Mississippi be in the multiple millions grande dollars a year -- to blunt the historical criticisms and win hearts and minds. Others haven't, or haven't yet.
But we think the outcome of doing so will be to make a really powerful platform of quickly accessible and affordable resources from as many different people and places Men possible. And we find that what educators seem to appreciate the most is simply having conversations with them and listening to them as they talk about their teaching.
Men been at the heart of what we do. Course Hero officials certainly believe they've moved the needle on faculty opinion. The company tracks educator opinion through regular surveys, and its year-end poll of educators found that 43 percent were aware bob Course Hero, and of those, between three-quarters and four-fifths were Rio positive or neutral in their views of the company, whether it helps students learn and whether they trusted it. Faculty members like Gaye Johnson say Course Hero meets their needs in multiple ways.
Course hero woos professors
When she needed ideas for new classroom exercises or assessment problems, she "used to just ask a friend or a colleague in my department," Johnson says. She also believes that when a Course Hero-hired writer profiles one of her course strategies, they will convey an understanding of her that few people beyond her classroom might see.
Barbara Oakley had slightly different reasons for embracing the Course Hero approach. Long before she was a professor of engineering at Oakland University and the creator of one of the world's most-attended massive open online courses boasting 1. When she returned to college at age 26 to study engineering, she felt like an outsider.
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Oakley failed an early test in a course on circuits, she says, because she didn't understand a concept the professor had never introduced in class. Other students didn't fail -- and when she pressed, she learned that most of them had had an old exam of his that revealed the trick. A platform like Course Hero "helps level the playing field," Oakley says, letting students "who were like me or had more disadvantages get some of that insider knowledge.
It gives students access to extra practice problems to work with. And the Course Hero education summit?
David Rettinger appreciates that change is afoot in higher education, as professors like Gaye Johnson and Barbara Oakley suggest, and that faculty members may not be adjusting sufficiently to it. It's a "totally legitimate point that sharing documents can be beneficial in some particular cases and that tutoring can be legitimate in many cases," says Rettinger, professor of psychological sciences and director of academic programs at the University of Mary Washington, in Virginia.
And when that happens, he says, "technology and pedagogy will come together in ways that really benefit students. Right now, though, "there's a very serious gap between those things, and in my experience, faculty in the U. Rettinger's other relevant role: president of the International Center for Academic Integrity.
Online exam proctoring catches cheaters, raises concerns
He goes out of his way to say that he isn't anti-technology, and he says he believes "there's certainly a lot of legitimate learning that goes on on Course Hero" and other sites. He acknowledges that his daughter, an elementary school student, "uses Quizlet all the time" to find extra problems to drill on. But another major shift that's unfolding, he says, is that more and more students are entering college -- and, one would p, using platforms like Course Hero -- not to drive their learning but to pursue a credential.
They may be less interested in learning, and more in getting the answers they need to finish a homework asment. While on the phone with this reporter, Rettinger goes to Course Hero's tutoring and identifies a set of student queries that seem deed to solicit answers to homework rather than to help a student build his or her understanding of the subject matter.
In his own field, cognitive psychology, he finds numerous study guides that students have created. Sure," he says. So here is a shortcut that is actively unhelpful to their peers. It gets worse, Rettinger continues.
That to me is a recipe to encouraging people to cheat. They may say, 'It's not our fault if students use our tool for ill -- we ask them not to.
Rettinger ultimately believes that transparency is at the core of this problem. If you're unwilling to share that, I'd have to ask, 'What are you hiding? Grauer, the Course Hero CEO and co-founder, says the company combats potential academic misconduct in every way it can.
Any time it identifies cases of abuse, "or where it becomes exceedingly clear that there is abuse," site monitors "remove that content. Beyond individual reports or cases, Course Hero "makes the content in our library as indexable by search engines as possible," Grauer says. Be the first to know. Get our free daily newsletter. We have retired comments and introduced Letters to the Editor.
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Many administrators and faculty members say online exam proctoring works and is vital to expanding online programs.
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