Chegg moves beyond textbook rentals

“Chegg is becoming a 300-day-a-year network of things that help you save time, save money, get smarter—but also you get to earn money by helping other students,” Rosensweig said in an interview on Forbes’ “Kym’s New Faces of Tech.”

Through the Chegg Courses service, which builds on the idea of CourseRank, students can share reviews of classes and professors and view course descriptions and grade distributions.

Another service, based on Notehall, allows students to buy and sell notes.

Students who write the study guides receive a percentage of each sale. Rosensweig pointed out that at a time when school tuition and fees are putting students in more debt than ever, this study guide marketplace rewards strong students.

Digital textbooks are also now available on Chegg’s website for sale and rental, in time for the new school year. Chegg has amassed a comprehensive eTextbook library by partnering with leading education publishers, including Cengage Learning, Elsevier, F.A. Davis, Macmillan, McFarland, McGraw-Hill, Oxford University Press, Rowman & Littlefield, Taylor and Francis, and Wiley.

Rosensweig acknowledged that surveys have shown most students prefer print textbooks, but said he feels the transition to digital formats is inevitable, because “the formats will get better, the devices will get better, [and] the experiences will get better.”

Students who download the eBooks can use one-click subject navigation, which allows users to jump to relevant points in the text, as well as more traditional functions such as highlighting, taking notes, and searching in the book.

A “read while you wait” tool allows students who order hardcopy textbooks to access eBooks while their books are shipping.