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Course Hero Acquires Leading Literature Resource for Teachers and Students

Millions of educators, college and high school students use LitCharts to understand complex texts, visualize themes, and learn and teach close reading.

REDWOOD CITY, CALIF. (Jun 10, 2021) — Course Hero, the online learning platform that enables college students and educators to contribute and access academic resources, today announced the acquisition of LitCharts, the creator of literature resources used by more than 50 million students and teachers to develop and support a better understanding of literary texts. In October, Course Hero reinforced its position as one of the most widely used online study resources with the acquisition of Symbolab, creator of an AI-enabled mathematics solver used by millions of students worldwide to demystify complex math challenges.

LitCharts is on a mission to make literature more accessible to readers at every level by taking a totally new approach to literary analysis. Initially created in collaboration with K-12 teachers working to incorporate close reading of complex texts into the classroom, more than 36% of the company’s subscribers are educators.

“LitCharts is the rare educational tool that enables students to better understand the key elements of a text while still enabling them to make their own connections and form their own big-picture ideas,” said high school English teacher, Nora Webb of South Carolina. “Genuine learning begins with understanding. When I use LitCharts in my classroom, I know I’m giving my students the tools they need to be successful.” 

Ben Florman and Justin Kestler, who were also the original editors of SparkNotes, created LitCharts to redefine and disrupt the market for literature study resources. LitCharts introduced new innovations to literary analysis such as side-by-side summaries, color-coded thematic analysis, and interactive data visualizations to make it easier to learn and teach literature. LitCharts covers over 2,000 literary texts spanning prose and poetry, demystifies hundreds of key literary terms, and offers modern English translations of every Shakespeare play and poem.

“The popularity of LitCharts among not just students, but educators, reflects the rigor and responsibility with which the LitCharts team creates new ways to unpack and explain complex texts,” said Andrew Grauer, co-founder and CEO of Course Hero. “This is about doing more than simply enabling students to access the academic discourse. It’s about designing resources that actually strengthen understanding and confidence as they dig into increasingly complex texts. It’s about providing teachers with new tools to help students visualize and understand the relevance of literature.”

LitCharts, which will operate as an independent brand, will continue to be led by co-founders Ben Florman and Justin Kestler. The LitCharts team will play a leading role in the build-out of Course Hero’s literature library as part of the company’s ongoing emphasis on creating best-in-class resources within priority disciplines and subject areas.

“We created LitCharts to make all forms of literature more accessible to readers everywhere,” said Justin Kestler, co-founder of LitCharts. “Joining the Course Hero community and platform offers a unique opportunity to expand our reach and deepen our impact on the learning and teaching of literature around the world.”

The acquisition positions Course Hero as one of the largest providers of literature study aids, offering nearly 9,000 resources, including video, audio, ebooks, and infographics.


About Course Hero: Course Hero is on a mission to help students make every study hour count, and graduate confident and prepared. Our online learning platform now offers more than 60 million course-specific study resources created by and for students and educators, as well as 24/7 tutor help. The range of learning materials includes practice problems, study guides, textbook solutions, videos, class notes, and step-by-step explanations for every subject. More than 65,000 faculty across the U.S. and Canada use Course Hero to share their resources with the community, collaborate with other faculty, and hone new strategies for instruction.

About LitCharts: LitCharts is working to make literature more accessible to readers at every level. More than 50 million students, teachers, parents, and general-interest readers turn to LitCharts to get everything they need for everything they read!

In creating LitCharts, co-founders Ben Florman and Justin Kestler tapped into their experience as the original editors of SparkNotes to take a totally new approach to analyzing and explaining literature. Using side-by-side summaries, theme analysis, and interactive data visualizations, LitCharts helps teachers teach literature and helps students learn it.

What Is Course Hero?

Course Hero is an online learning platform where you can access course-specific study resources contributed by a community of students and educators.