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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects by McMaster University

4.8
stars
68,676 ratings
19,492 reviews

About the Course

This course gives you easy access to the invaluable learning techniques used by experts in art, music, literature, math, science, sports, and many other disciplines. We’ll learn about the how the brain uses two very different learning modes and how it encapsulates (“chunks”) information. We’ll also cover illusions of learning, memory techniques, dealing with procrastination, and best practices shown by research to be most effective in helping you master tough subjects. Using these approaches, no matter what your skill levels in topics you would like to master, you can change your thinking and change your life. If you’re already an expert, this peep under the mental hood will give you ideas for: turbocharging successful learning, including counter-intuitive test-taking tips and insights that will help you make the best use of your time on homework and problem sets. If you’re struggling, you’ll see a structured treasure trove of practical techniques that walk you through what you need to do to get on track. If you’ve ever wanted to become better at anything, this course will help serve as your guide. This course can be taken independent of, concurrent with, or prior to, its companion course, Mindshift. (Learning How to Learn is more learning focused, and Mindshift is more career focused.) To join the fully translated Portuguese version of the course, visit: https://www.coursera.org/learn/aprender To join the fully translated Spanish version of the course, visit: https://www.coursera.org/learn/aprendiendo-a-aprender To join the fully translated Chinese version of the course, visit: https://www.coursera.org/learn/ruhe-xuexi To join the fully translated French version of the course, visit : http://www.coursera.org/learn/apprendre-comment-apprendre...

Top reviews

GA
Jul 20, 2017

Really useful insights had been provided by this course. No price can be put on this valuable resource. It's beyond anything valuable. Thank you very much for making this course. God Bless Everyone :)

EA
Apr 28, 2017

This was a great course! I learned a number of different techniques and strategies for learning more effectively that I can't wait to implement in my studies. I highly recommend Learning How to Learn.

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226 - 250 of 10,000 Reviews for Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects

By Greg M

Nov 23, 2015

After signing up for at least half a dozen (probably ~10) MOOCs over the past few years, this is the first course that I have actually followed to completion. Not only is the information relevant to my daily (non-student) life, but it is presented in an engaging and *cough* memorable way. I doubt I will be forgetting about my mental zombies or metabolic vampires anytime soon.

The two most life changing, and I mean that literally, ideas shared in this course were the Pomodoro technique and focusing on "process", not "product". Using these two new methods/ideas I have made significant progress on projects I have been putting off for quite a while.

All of the topics covered were engaging and informative, not to mention useful!

For those who are hesitant to try this course due to lack of free time, I would recommend turning up the video speeds by 25% increments, until you are at a comfortable speed where you still understand the material, but compress your time spent watching the videos. I started at 1.25x, slowly working my way up to the max of 2x by the end of the course.

This is an excellent course covering a critical topic that can improve your daily life, for the rest of your life!

By Eduardo P A

Jun 24, 2019

I took this course as part of a programming curriculum, and I was absolutely hesitant to go through so much content. However, I have absolutely no regrets! Be ready to learn a lot about learning, as ironic as that sounds! You will learn some basic science behind the mind and how we learn, and then will be exposed to a lot of different methods you can use to learn whatever you need. The content creators are qualified due to their educational backgrounds and often times mention the studies that support their techniques. I truly believe that everybody would benefit from taking this course no matter where they are in life. The first week of content absolutely blew me away, and made me realize that I was experiencing a lot of what was covered! I thought I didn't need this as I have been through K-12 and some college, but it definitely gave me a reality check. I will admit that I was completely discouraged when I saw that estimated time completion. But I highly recommend setting your video speed to x2! I have tons of notes on my note editing software to accompany everything I've learned, and I will absolutely use what I've learned here for the rest of my life!

By Jonathan M K

Nov 29, 2015

This course is helping me solve one of the most pressing problems I am facing as a student which is how to learn on my own in online courses. After searching books, talking with people, and searching the internet, I found this course. While I was aware of some of the material this course offered which aiding in my chunking of the material in this course, the mental techniques which I was not aware of have been very helpful such as chunking in small burst with the Pomodoro Technique and learning multiple subjects in parallel rather than one at a time thus utilizing interleaving, focusing on deepening my understanding of materials I already know a bit about in the form of overlearning, figuring out ways to win against pitfalls in misunderstandings because of prior knowledge or Einstellung, and working against procrastination plus more.

This is a great course that many people can benefit from and I am very grateful for the opportunity to have learned from Dr. Barbara Oakley and Dr. Terrence Sejnowski. As a computer science undergraduate in college, these mental tools are very useful and students of other fields can benefit as well, from humanities to business and beyond.

By Andrew L

Jun 14, 2016

Learning how to learn is a real thing that complete changed my life and attitude towards many things. It was mentioned that when we are born, our brain is not supplemented by the manual guide. I think this course can be a real manual guide for many of those who have taken this course. It explain the nature of our brain. When we ask plain questions such as why we should go to bed early or why we have to learn every day and shouldn't cram, sometimes we get very vague answers which cannot meet our expectations. After this course, I could totally understand the nature of my brain and my behavior. I could change my patterns and get rid of many bad habits. I am sure that this course could boost me even more. Also after this course I decided to learn Chinese. I have never thought about it, but having been inspired by Barbara Oakley I could make this very unexpected for me choice. Also I have notices that my memory skills somehow became better. I will highly recommend this course to my friends, students and many other curious people.

I would like to thank the University of California, San Diego. and Barbara Oakley for this wonderful course.

Best regards,

Andrew Liberman

By Vivek C

Apr 21, 2020

I have time and often started online courses and left them midway. This one, I completed within a week. The course was terrific in terms of high-value content as well as its lucidity. It provides clear, no-nonsense takeaways, which you can apply in everyday life to learn a new skill. It directly addresses the common fears everyone faces and gives you tools on how to address those fears.Some very high-level takeaways are as follows: Exercise helps you learn better, Switch between focussed and diffused (relaxed, leisurely mood) to maximize your learning potential, getting a good night's sleep is very important, deal with procrastination right-away, don't get disheartened if you don't learn something in the first go...get away, try to recall and get back to it., don't keep hammering at something which is frustrating...get back to it later, repetition is key to acquiring new skills and getting better at it, but do repetition regularly over several days and months, testing frequently your new skills is key to acquire those skills, skipping back and forth might be a good idea to solve a bigger problem consisting of many smaller problems, and many more tips and ideas.

By Yuuna K

Sep 21, 2015

This is a wonderful class. The entire team at Learning How to Learn have put together a marvelous course which teaches us how to learn. What I found very helpful was learning that there are things you can do to achieve competence. Becoming a skilled learner is not magic or genetics or esoteric techniques but rather very basic things: putting in time and making it a part of daily living like eating or sleeping, practicing over time and not cramming everything into one day, making the study period consist of varied methods and material, doing self tests, challenging your self by doing hard things to deepen understanding of a topic, recalling material by closing the source or book and trying to make a brief summary statement, using mnemonic methods, analogies, metaphors, visualizations to really help you remember. The most important take-away from this class is that learning requires me to do certain things. If i commit to doing these things, then i can learn anything. Doing a little every day and keeping at it will help you to gain mastery in whatever you wish to learn. Thank you so very much for empowering manny many people by sharing these methods.

By Elizabeth B

Nov 13, 2015

This is the first class I had ever taken on the open online classes. I took it to be prepared to take other classes. Honestly, I figured it would be kind of like a reminder class on studying. The Professors are amazing. The have set a high standard for other classes. There was never a dull moment. It was so much fun and I learned so much NEW information but Not only did I learn it but I completely understand why it works. it is great having insight into the brain and how to have it work for you. This is not the standard study skill class at all. The names says it all. I still surprise myself on how enthusiastic I am when I get the opportunity to use the information acquired . It really works . it's like being able to depend on a really good friend. They are always there to help you pull through and won't leave you hanging. My favorite is the Pomodoro technique. if you procrastinate this is the one to help you get stuff done. I have incorporated a lot of what I learned into my daily life. After being in many other classes, I have to say this is the BEST class I have taken. It's the knowledge I use most. Keep up the good work Barb and Terry!!!

By Joachim V

Aug 31, 2020

Wow, I definitely learned a lot of new things about how important it is to take our brain and the way we think and process things into our consideration with our learning. It is super significant to incorporate the right techniques into learning things and understanding things or you might not learn that much at all. ANd retaining information and actually being able to recall it yourself and test yourself on it and do these other things to really know and be confident in what you're learning is also a good thing to do. This course has so many beneficial tips and the advice that they provide definitely confirms a lot of the things that I thought might be right before on instinct but didn't really know for sure and now that I have the knowledge to use all these approaches to learning properly, I feel like I can truly ace all of my classes, maximize my productivity, and hopefully use the extent of my capabilities. Or at least more of them. Highly recommend taking this 5/5 stars just really simple and straight forward stuff that will help save a lot of time and provide a lot of useful brain shortcuts that you were never taught in school.

💯🎯

By Kellie M

Aug 30, 2015

I loved this course - the subject-matter was interesting, the instructor was endearing, and the content was incredibly easy-to-grasp, fun and engaging. The retrieval quizzes were well spaced out and super helpful for embedding the new knowledge, and the expert interviews were great as well.

Two potential improvement areas: 1.) The videos featuring Barbara Oakley (which was most of them) are very low-volume. I had turned up my device speakers and the video player volume adjustor to the maximum levels (and tried on multiple devices) but it was really hard to hear some of them without straining, and having to download the transcripts in order to follow along (which meant missed some of her hilarious visuals). No audio issues with the other videos or in my other Coursera classes. 2.) The practice quizzes allow you to see WHAT you got wrong in a given problem (and indicated what the correct choice would have been), and explained WHY it was wrong, but the actual quizzes don't reveal either. This made me feel anxious every time I got a question I'd gotten wrong on a previous quiz, since I didn't know what exactly I'd gotten wrong or why.

By Alex L

Apr 12, 2020

I wanted to hold off on reviewing this course immediately after completing because learning is something that can only be demonstrated over a long period of time. I feel that it would be dishonest for anyone to review this kind of course which stresses the importance of spaced learning and long-term memory/chunking the moment it's finished.

After closely practicing the methods and techniques (emphasis on spaced learning method and recall technique) throughout the course and finishing the Final exam of this course, I wrote down all the important terms, concepts, and techniques with each of their respective definitions on Quizlet.

I put this whole Learning How to Learn course into the back of my mind for a month. No active reviewing of any of this material.

A month goes and I check my to-do list and it says "Do Quizlet's auto-generated tests which uses your key terms and definitions that you wrote down. No reviewing for this test."

I got a 100% on this informal test after not having done any review of Learning How To Learn's material after a month. I am confident in saying that if you properly execute this course's concepts, it will work.

By Kostenko T

Sep 15, 2020

good afternoon, starting from this course, I thought that it would be a banal cramming of the material (I studied this way sometime 23 years ago), so even in project work for students I recalled this with the phrase: we all learned something sometime and somehow . But this August-September there was a radical change in the idea of ​​learning.

the idea that a lot depends on yourself, the simplicity and availability of explanations of teachers, interest in the topic throughout the course, the application is real !!! Techniques and Tips from Barbara Oakley Terrence Sejnowski Teachers - These Tips Help It Truthfully, Practically And Easily For The Student To Understand

So I don't want to part I'll watch the video materials again and save more recommended materials for independent study

I am grateful for this course because it gave me more confidence in myself and my abilities

many thanks to the translators who made it possible for students without knowledge of English to listen to and read this course - we learn how to learn

I am grateful to the guests giving interviews and practical !! applicable guidelines

THANKS going further👩🏻‍🎓

By Gerardo G S

Jul 26, 2020

Como una persona bilingüe y un hombre de 29 años que jamas creyo que podria ser buen estudiante recomiendo muchisimo este curso, no solo me ha apoyado en las areas academicas de mi vida si no tambien en mi vida personal, ahora uso el metodo Pomodoro hasta para limpiar mi habitacion, estoy eternamente agradecido con los doctores Baraba Oakley y Terry Sejnowski que se tomaron el tiempo de hacer este curso, de verdad lo disfrute muchisimo y aprendi mucho mas de como aprender, sin duda algo que planeo aplicar para generaciones futuras.

As an bilingual person and a 29 year old man who never believed he could be an A+ student I recommend a lot this course, not only because it has helped me on the academic aspect of my life but also in my personal life, i even use the Pomodoro Technique to clean my room, I am forever grateful with the Doctors Barbara Oakley and Terry sejnowsky for taking the time to do this course, I really enjoyed it a lot and i learned much more about "How To Learn", without a dobut is something that I plan to teach to future generations.

Thanks a lot Barbara Oakley and Terry Sejnowski....and Happy Learning everyone!

By chansolyka t

May 8, 2020

I had been facing the lack of commitment and strong procrastination for a long time when it come to online learning. I have enrolled and unrolled many courses for years and never had one completed. 4 weeks ago, all of this changed. I logged into my Coursera account again after one year to try for another start and to keep myself learning during this COVID-19 and viola, I saw that I have enrolled in "Learning how to learn" a year ago. It's just a perfect timing. When you are having difficulty keeping your learning going and been giving all the excuses, this is the best course to start and I am happy to say, for the first time in like years since I am on Coursera, this is my first course that I completed and currently I am on another course and is half way through. Pomodoro has been my daily tools for both work and study. 7 to 8 hours sleep and exercise are my priority. To do list before going to bed keep my self motivated waking up next day knowing what I needed to get done. There's so many great tips and I feel like I can do more! Thank you for this amazing course! I can now say with more confident that I am a learner :)

By Ramesh Z R

Apr 17, 2020

Ramesh completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it.

There are lots of opinions on how to learn, which from this course it has provided me with research-based outputs that somehow or the other gave me a new understanding of learning approaches and techniques.

Some parts are actually within my knowledge and practice, such as metaphors and analogies + visually.

The teamwork seems to be providing a great reflection material. As I found that sometimes I am uneasy to perform all the time teamwork as there are times where my opinions are rejected due to my less influential behavior. And, having a community that looks high on opinions, the influential skills are considered as a leadership norm in teamwork. However, spotting errors and noticing it from other team members are really useful. For example, when we are developing software which requires counter checking our codes. That is why we are now practising Pair Programming, even many similar communities do.

Great course. I will need to train to have a good "holistic" right-brain from now on.

BRAVO to Dr Barb and Dr Terry.

Thanks

Sincerely

Ramesh Zaidi Rozan

By Laura B

Sep 21, 2015

Amazing course. Concepts and ideas are explained very clearly and thoroughly, and all study techniques taught in this course are based on scientific facts and research. Furthermore, option videos show us fantastic examples of people who succeded at learning, and they are all very inspiring. I don't think I can explain how much the ideas taught in this course touched me deeply. For years I've been thinking that it was pointless for me to study properly because my memory is not that great and I would forget things in a matter of weeks. Well, Barbara & co. made me realize that the development of my memory and my brain is in my hands (and not only in my genes) and I can actively work in order to improve them. Now, I won't probably get a PhD in Engineering, but I feel that -with the right motivation and study techniques- I can really achieve almost everything I want. It's really a great feeling. Thank you so much for this course. Highly recommended to everyone, but especially to those who feel insecure about their study methods and academic achievements. I wish someone taught me all of this when I was actually a student!

By Rufus F R j

Dec 6, 2019

This course is potentially useful to anyone at any age from any background. There are useful tools in this subject matter that can help most any learner learn any subject more easily whether in an academic environment or a non-academic environment. This course is more than a self-help course because the course lays a foundation as to how to learn any subject matter. Because this course is contemporaneously based in scholarly and scientific research, social science, and especially brain science, the learner is benefiting from some of the most recent and sound knowledge available without pedantic complexity. This course takes some very complex knowledge and makes that data easily accessible to most learners such that the learners may become self-actualized. This course can be truly transformative in nature because this course will change a learner's perspective about how to learn anything and change a learner's perspective about one's self. This course is not snake oil. I know because this course has changed how I learn and changed me as a person. In short, this course has positively changed my life.

By Omar A

May 29, 2020

It's strange that I didn't know about the information in this course before. It makes learning fun and easier than what I used to. It's not about math or science, it's about everything you learn in live.

I recommend this course to everyone who want a better learning approach. This course is a good start to know about learning.

a Quick summery for the course:

1- It's important to know you need to study and rest. It's like exercising, You need to work, but you need to rest to let your body build the muscles.

2- You need to get the big idea of what you are learning before diving into deep details. It makes getting the idea easier.

3- Procrastination is a tough problem for learners, but you will be shocked of how easy it's to tackle it.

4- It's important to know how the brain works

5- some people are talented. others need to work harder, but that doesn't mean they are worse. If they worked harder, they will show you their true potential. Example: People with ADHD, They have to work harder to grasp the information, but once they understand it, they will be creative with it.

I wish my review was helpful.

By Oisín M F

May 7, 2020

This easy and accessible course provides some guidance for studying more effectively, based on research in neuroscience and psychology. It gives a grounding in some fundamental cognitive processes like chunking and our working memory systems.

Later sections discuss practical tips for study, test preparation and relaxation / self-care.

It would be nice perhaps to expand on the section dealing with mnemonics and provide some more concrete, practical examples, perhaps discussing systems like PAO (person-action-object), linking sequences and the Major system for memorising numbers.

Also, for language study, there has been a slowly rising interest and awareness of the "comprehensible input" theory of language acquisition popularised by Stephen Krashen's work, and embodied in methods like TPRS or the "natural method". These approaches are very different from how adults typically study second languages, and it would be good to provide some information about them (complimentary, critical or descriptive).

Overall, this is an excellent course that I'd recommend to everybody. I look forward to more from the authors.

By Scarlett L

Oct 30, 2020

This course has been a life changer. Taking "Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects" and know that there is scientific research to back up the research, has been a eye opener, that anyone can learn new material no matter what the subject. I believe anyone who has ever doubted their ability to learn any new material, or has a "I cannot do this" attitude should take this class: that would be me. I always thought I had a learning challenge, turns out me and millions of others do too. A lot of this is the ability to believe in yourself, keep an I can do attitude and to know that it is okay to make mistakes, to use that as a learning too. Don't let anyone tell you, you can't do something...give it a try, with all your might, heart and brain power. It's okay, keep learning, the world of knowledge is at our feet, only "you' can decide to learn or not to learn. Barbara Oakley and Terrance Sijnowski both do an amazing job presenting the material in their videos. This was my first online class. I can't wait to take another course through Coursera. THANK YOU!!

By Elroy L B J

Jun 7, 2020

I wish I had known this before entering College or University. Most of the content feels like common sense in a way that we all knew this and that were the steps that we had to take to learn better. However, this course reinforces the information so well with logic, explanation and passion such that now, there are no excuses I can make to deny that procrastination is something I can understand and avoid. Learning is certainly up to an individual's willpower to consciously plan your schedule, break down goals, stick to your goals, and most importantly, be consistent by taking a day-by-day approach. Never forget to look at the big picture; conversely, don't focus on the product. Enjoy and trust the process. Simply reading a new passage today can go a long way if you step back and realise how far you can go, or you have gone, just by completing 1 simple pomodoro today. Thank you Professors for the enjoyable learning experience. The first step I am taking is to reinforce my learning from this course onto my learning for my academics. Thank you Coursera for making this course free and accessible.

By Robyn L

Jun 11, 2016

It's a useful and interesting course for me.

I had graduated from university for several years.The long I graduated the more I felt hard to learn faster and easier.Too much things to make learning planning procrastinated, and I felt fidget, frustrated, and hard to concentrate.

I tried my best to find a solution (I thought).I spent much more time on learning,but that didn't work.Once I thought learning new things was for those who were young or high IQ.

After I learned Learning How to Learn,I found I was terribly wrong.Firstly, the most important thing is,after I use these methods which the course taught,I find self -confidence feel fun and find learning is interesting.No more frustrated,and no more self-denial. Secondly,learning is a life time work,and the brain is ready for it,I just need to know how to make it prepared.

I recommend this course to those who had left school for years,and now who want to learn more.

I also think this course is useful for students to study much better.

Thank you.

(In the end, sorry for those grammar mistakes,English is not my native langue,I studied on my-own.)

By Liow J W

Oct 2, 2017

Initially I thought this course is going to be boring just by looking at the title of the course, but I was wrong. Dr. Barbara Oakley, one of the key speaker of this course was a humorous person, and I can see how she put efforts into all her content to prepare for a course that goes straight to the point where you can see direct practicality in real life, and also cut downs all the jargons into duh-duh easy to understand languages. I really enjoy my time in learning how to learn from her, and it totally re-shaped my understanding towards test-taking and what is the actual best way to study. I benefited a lot from this course. Let me end with my favourite remark from this course by Dr. Sejnowski, "You have not truly learned something unless you can teach it to others." To Dr. Barbara Oakley and Dr. Sejnowski, thanks for your effort in this course. I enjoyed my time learning from the both of you. To those who are struggling with test-taking, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you to consider this course, and I believe it is going to have a momentum change in how you approach learning and test-taking.

By Carl l

Jun 26, 2017

I want to say a special thank you to Dr. Barbara Oakley and Dr. Terrence Sejnowski for this outstanding course on Learning How to Learn. I have plans to put to practice the material from this course and share the key points with friends, students and associates. I am finding myself already reviewing my notes in my head. My next thing to accomplish today is to order the POMODORO Timer the one that looks like an apple. I also have plans to read more of the additional works on Procrastination and Memory. I feel a new sense of purpose after taking this course. Thanks again to Dr. Oakley, Dr. Sejnowski, UC San Diego, Coursera, and all of the folks behind the scenes that helped make this the number one most popular online course in the world. I am wondering what student number I have out of the 2 million who have already successfully completed this course? Is this the end of an era of Learning How to Learn? Just maybe Watson A.I. will become how we learn in the future classroom, or on online or at home. Add VR to the mix and anything is possible. We are living in very exciting times.

By Jakub P

Oct 23, 2017

Couldn't imagine better introduction into MOOCs and strongly believe this course should be included into formal education curriculum as obligatory and one of the most important ones. That's because it deals with the very basics of education - what learning is, how do the brain do it, what processes are involved and how to use them properly. Understanding this in the first place would make huge improvement to any further learning no matter the skill.

Course could be valuable either for those starting their education (giving them proper tools, changing perspective, etc.) and more advanced learners (backing some of their intuitions with scientific data, dealing with some misconceptions, consolidating and presenting knowledge in well structured way). It's all done in layman terms and thanks to dr. Oakley in a very kind, fun and supportive atmosphere.

Another good indicator that creators practice what they preach is the design of the course itself - videos served in digestible "chunks", funny and attention keeping quizzes, little reviews, etc. Overall - highly recommended.

By BIKOUTA-MENGA

May 29, 2017

Hello,

I am an NLP Master from France. I have developped differents skills in learning or life coaching ( Erickson Hypnosis, Neuro Semantics...) Your course is just a very good one. And for free ???? No excuse for anyone who wants to improve its skills about learning how to learn. If You are interested about the functionnal of the Brain that even the best scientist as never talked about until today, I strongly recommand you to read The Hidden Face Of The Brain written By Dominique AUBIER. You have never read something like that. I sware because she reveald what the Brain is for the Traditions and compare the Crown knowledge and the Scientist Knowledge reuniting those both approach that are usually describe as opposite. This books is probably the best TOP interleaving learning you have never read. Thank you so much for what you did. Maybe once a day we will meet. But if we don't you will shall say to all the people you know Cyrille BIKOUTA-MENGA aka WALLO11.37.04 has followed our course. THANK YOU SO MUCH Mrs OAKLEY. Keep going smiling and sharing all your knowledge.