While universities may not have direct access to Course Hero’s user data, there are ways they might be able to determine if a student is using the platform.
Here are some possible scenarios:
- Plagiarism detection software: Many universities, such as Turnitin, use plagiarism detection software to check for academic dishonesty. If a student submits an assignment copied from Course Hero, the software could detect and flag the similarity, leading to potential consequences for the student.
- Unique content: Instructors familiar with their course material might recognize content from Course Hero if it appears in a student’s work. This could raise suspicion and result in further investigation.
- Reporting by other students: If other students notice a classmate using Course Hero inappropriately or cheating, they might report the behaviour to the University, which could lead to an investigation.
- Course Hero’s actions: In some cases, Course Hero may notify a university about potential academic dishonesty involving their platform. While this is not a common practice, it is important to understand that Course Hero does prioritize academic integrity and might take action if they find evidence of cheating.
How does Course Hero know the name of your University?
Course Hero may learn the name of your University in several ways:
- User-provided information: When you sign up for Course Hero, you may be asked to provide information about your educational institution, such as your University’s name and enrollment status. Some users might also include their university email addresses when registering.
- Document uploads: Users often upload study materials or documents specific to a particular university or course. These documents may contain the University’s name, course codes, or instructor names, which can help Course Hero identify the institution.
- Metadata from submitted content: Metadata is information embedded within a file, such as an author, creation date, and associated institution. When users upload documents or other materials to Course Hero, the platform may extract metadata from those files to determine the University’s name.
- User behaviour and analytics: Course Hero might analyze user behaviour, search patterns, or browsing history on their platform to determine a user’s affiliation with a specific university. For example, if a user consistently searches for materials related to a particular university or course, Course Hero may infer the user’s connection to that institution.