I found this course to be incredibly helpful. I am 33 and wish that I would have been taught a more efficient way of learning many years ago. There are definitely some great takeaways from this class.
This is an amazing class. It makes my professional life easy as well as my personal life. Everybody should take this class, and also the teachers are brilliant about all subjects that we see in class.
By Enyu L•
This is by far one of the most rewarding courses I have ever taken! As a psychology major, I really love the way how Dr. Barbara Oakley and Dr. Terrence Sejnowski not only discussed the many useful learning techniques but carefully explained how those methods work neurologically, and I believe understanding the underline neural networks could definitely help us make better use of what we have learned from this course.
My favorite part of this program were actually the optional interviews Dr. Oakley did with many other very accomplished scientists and learners. It was always inspiring getting to know how they learned and what they though would be the best way to learn effectively. Also, I have to admit that the way how this class was presented -- one several-minute video for one small topic -- was in effect quite convenient when I felt the need to review a few concepts. I could simply look at the title of video and recall the points involved in the lecture.
In short, this class was surprisingly rewarding, and I would recommend to anyone who wants to learn better.
By Gregory G•
This is a great course, I wish I had learned it before or during my university studies and not many years later.
When I started university I had a lot of misconceptions about how to learn in a smart way. High school was pretty easy for me so I never learned how to study hard material, and subsequently I struggled through my years in university. This course is for people who lack the correct learning techniques and habits. Not everyone can force their way through university by sheer brain power - some have more and some have less of it. Understanding how your brain works and how to feed it information the right way, when to give it a rest and which kind of rest, how to leverage your diffused mode of thinking and even how to approach an exam - these are all skills that will help you achieve more, while staying focused and energized.
Even if you're busy, this course is well worth your time, and pretty much all of it can be learned without even looking at the screen, so just download the course and listen to it during your commute or your jogging. Thanks Barbara!
By Dr. C R•
I enjoyed the course very much!! Thank you. Highly applicable to my profession (teaching) and really useful. In a nutshell I learnt about - Learning, thinking, memory, chunking, avoiding procrastination, habits, testing, use of analogy and metaphors, and so much more - which I know will directly impact my ability to learn well and to advise my students on how to learn.The videos were short and not too much of a strain on students like me (working people)I enjoyed Dr. Barbara Oakley's way of presenting every topic - very clear, specific and ofcourse warm and friendly. It was like - she was talking to you!! Dr. Terrence Sejnowski tends to do one main video a week, detailing more on the anatomical aspect of the brain.There are plenty of interviews that you can watch, lots of reading material that was available (though I was selective about it). Its however in my list of 'to read'This course was a very rewarding one that I have taken.I highly recommend this course to all teachers, students and even parents who will understand how 'learning' can be improved.
By Mary V•
This course ought to be given in Freshman year of High School and again in Freshman Year of College. Dr. Oakley is a wonderful conduit for this information. In week 4 the ADD brain is discussed with examples of what the world considers brilliant men. Amazing to learn why my learning as well as my daughter's has a "delay". I noticed her brain development when she was a baby. Day after day I'd try and teach her a new word or sign language or body shape in play. Days later after I thought okay, I'll wait and try something new, she'd do the thing I was teaching her days before. I did not understand this at all. For me now, I see how and why when information comes into my mind, it scatters and then days later, I feel a knowledge chunk forming. wow. This is something I wish I knew many years before. But it is good now that I learned so much about learning and how to feel positive about how best to use what I have to learn new things. Great course. I believe everyone should be required to take this course early in life... and then refresher later on.
By Knut H•
Gorgeous material, which is from my point of view extremely powerful, valuable, as well as very hands-on oriented. I have liked the way very much, how the material is presented and how nice the key ideas are educated in an easy to remember way. Already during the course I practiced a lot of it in real life, e.g. the memory palace technique to visually deposit items I want to remember. Btw and to be honest, w/o the examples in the videos I wouldn't even have dared to be that freaky, funny and evocative with my own memory images on such ;) The only pity thought coming up into my mind is, that I should have had this knowledge 20 years earlier ! Anyhow, happy event never comes too late. I now switch back to master tough subjects of AI Artificial Intelligence, which is currently part of my lifelong learning, and where I made a little step from to the Learning How to Learn course. I'm sure, I speed there up tremendously. Thanks so much to Barb Oakley, Terry Sejnowski, and the Learning How to Learn Team. Kei, Germany
By Ariel M d A J•
A very good course!
It teaches a lot of techniques for studying and test taking as well as information about how we and our brains work. It talks about how we should be doing things to learn in a more "efficient" manner, how to be less anxious as well as some advice about decision making (don't cram, and have a good night's sleep).
Quite a bit of what is talked here I've seen before in other places. Things such as Anki, sleeping well before a test, good eating habits and exercising (doesn't mean i applied them to my life). But it was nice to have everything put into one place. It's a way to ratify that's what i should be doing.
And there indeed were a lot of valuables knowledge to be learned here. The Pomodoro technique is something I've never heard about before, and I loved and am currently applying it. There are some "pomodoro" apps out there, and the one I'm using makes me feel like I'm gamifying my learning. It's really fun to study that way.
It's a very good course for anyone that wants to become a better learner.
By Kristine F•
I first took this course when I was at the height of my frustration over learning Nihongo in Osaka. During that time, I had been studying almost everyday for 11 months. I was constantly reading, reviewing, and answering exercises. I often studied until I was too tired to study any more, and yet I could retain the information only for a while. The way I was studying wasn't working for me, and I wanted to know how I can study and learn more effectively. A month after I started taking this course and applying some of the techniques presented in it, I noticed that I was able to remember more of my Nihongo lessons. I actually spent less time studying, but I think that, with the techniques I was using, I was studying in a smarter, more effective, and more efficient way... I continue to apply these techniques in relevant situations in my life now. I also review this course every once in a while. Each time, I find that I still learn something from it. Thank you so much to everyone who came together to make this course possible!
I highly recommend this course to just about anyone as the concepts can be applicable to students, experienced professionals, instructors, researchers, etc. With today's rapid pace of technology advancement, I find it sometimes overwhelming to know where to even start to understand some new technologies and concepts that are outside of my profession. In fact, technology within my profession is rapidly changing owing to IoT, so I really want to understand these other technologies that are now working in tandem with my industry. I took this course in hopes that it would make approaching some of these new concepts easier. It greatly exceeded my expectations. Some are completely novel concepts, while others are things I've been doing for years, but didn't actually have a name for them (e.g. diffused mode of thinking). The course is very easy to follow and I really liked the professors. They seem to be genuinely nice people who want people to learn and succeed. I will end as I began. I HIGHLY recommend this course.
By Kerstin G•
I had an amazing experience with this online course. Firstly, the course has a great structure making it easy to follow Dr. Oakley and Dr. Sejnowki! Moreover, the ideas and exercises are easily applicable in daily life, no matter if you are a student or already working. The techniques discussed will help with every new project you try to tackle. Mostly, they emphasize the benefits of learning, having fun acquiring new knowledge and shows you how you can motivate yourself to learn. However, they also reassure you to not be too hard on yourself, to keep practising with the beneficial methods and of course being real with yourself about your progress. It was a refreshing perspective into an academic world that is sadly and to our detriment still more focused on achievement than on acquiring deep and meaningful knowledge. Therefore I really have to say: Great job!! I am so happy this course exists. It is giving us the reality check, we so desperately need to understand what really matters when learning! Thank you!
By Saifa S•
Recently I started using Pomodoro technique to create a habit of regular studying. I must say it works surprisingly good in its simplicity.
I start by turning off the wifi on my phone and I close all unnecessary tabs in the web browser as well as other programs. Then I set the timer for 25 minutes and focus on a specific task without worrying if I manage to finish it or not. Sometimes it means to leave a lecture video half way paused or even unfinished line of code but that's okay. What matters in fighting the procrastination is the focus on the process not the results. I use the breaks for stretching away from the computer.
Other thing I do is to set up a day limit on a specific hour, just like Dr Barbara Oakley explains in her course. In my case it's 8pm, after that hour I stop studying even if I didn't do as many Pomodoro sessions as I planned.
After a while I've noticed that I look forward those studying sessions. :) I recommend it to anyone who struggles with procrastination. Go on and give it a try.
By Pablo B P•
A fantastic insight into the functioning of the brain. Doing this helps you to identify bad habits and thoughts that will impede not only learning, but enjoying it. This course does a very good job mixing theoretical explanations with practical tips and advices to improve your learning. However, don't expect magic here, there are no shortcuts. You have to be willing to put the effort into the material you want to learn. The beginning of the course might seem a little bit simple, but the last weeks are really worthwhile. Specially if you are taking a degree of a very complex subject like Physics, Engineering or Math, where the focus mode of the brain is encouraged and the diffused mode is forgotten, albeit it is much needed too. Al thing considered, either if you are an unquiet person, who likes to learn constantly, or you simply want to learn how to improve your academic performance, this course will give you what you need. I feel that this should be taught in the first year of college.
By Andrea G•
I am a Learning Specialist who has been learning about learning for more than 20 years. I coach students in grades 9-12 to apply strategies that will maximize their learning in all subject areas, and I took this course in hopes that it would be a means to validate and enhance my teaching practice. The clever lectures did not disappoint! I learned several new ideas and strategies to bring to my practice, including an interesting test taking strategy linked to focused and diffuse modes of thinking, which I found fascinating and very applicable. I was able to link every lecture to previously learned content on memory, language acquisition, attention, and comprehension. I especially appreciated that the lectures were short and clear; the instructors are obviously well aware of what the research tells us about sustained attention - and they practice what they preach. The spiraling nature of the course was also very helpful; the brain loves spaced repetition! I am enthused for the new academic year to begin.
By Boussoualim M•
After just one week of learning with Dr. Barbara Oakley and Dr. Terrence Sejnowski, I feel that this is the ressource I have been looking for for a long time. Nowadays, the internet is full of material about personal development, about how to achieve miracles in fast learning, fast reading, fast calculating, in activating different parts of the brain, ...etc. Though I obviously do not much trust this kind of material, I have always been looking for reliable sources that answer so many questions about learning and about how the brain works during the learning process. Learning How to Learn offers all that anyone needs to know about how the learning process develops in the brain while at the same time learning so much about the secrets of the human brain and its potentialities from brain specialists and researchers. What makes the course more interesting is the reliable and rich resources and the well-grounded scientific research it uses to demonstrate the validity of the learning strategies suggested.
By Catherine B•
Excellent course! Even though I am myself a professor in an engineering discipline and very experienced at "learning", I discovered new things in this course and I also learned reasons behind some aspects of learning that I know from intuition and experience. It is very helpful to understand the neurological underpinnings for why certain methods of learning and studying are beneficial. The concept of "chunking" is very powerful. The rational behind metaphors, mnemonics, and memory palace is really interesting. The reasons that spaced repetition of concepts are effective, the function of the diffuse mode of the brain, and the simple "pomodoro" technique are all excellent concepts and incredibly useful in learning engineering concepts, languages, or anything in life. The instructors are excellent, the videos, illustrations and text are well thought out. Highly recommend this course for anyone at any level! I have recommended it to fellow professors, graduate and undergraduate students, and my children.
From different brain modes to research-proven learning techniques, this course not only covers how brain works but also what works for the brain. It is a constant reminder that the brain is a powerful tool that learners of all kind could benefit from knowing it a little better. Besides, this course give scientific backings to ideas such as changing your thoughts can really change how your brain work, and leisure activities are not just good for you, they are essential in stages of learnings etc. These are all powerful life-style suggestions that could help us live better, happier and more efficiently.Lastly, I found taking this course in itself is a power tool against procrastination. A few minutes a day of listening to the videos got myself start thinking about my learning methods, and I would usually go to with a productive day of trying to challenge myself according to the suggestions from the class videos. Thank you for such a great course. I only wish I could turn back clock and take it earlier.
By Jaime H•
Dr. Oakley is one of my top three favorite professors of MOOC courses because the content is relevant and applicable. For reference, I have been taking online classes for over 20 years; I teach and also have an EdS and MPH. I have been in school most of my adult life, and it was a pleasure to take this class.
I learned a few tips to help my adult students learn better and retain the information longer. I have also found myself sharing this information with anyone trying to learn anything new and especially complex subjects.
The content builds each week with quizzes, lectures, and she provides in-depth references that allow you to dive into a subject deeper. There are also additional lectures, interviews, and content, making it a really in-depth course.
This subject will likely appeal to students, but any teacher, parent, or employer reading this should take the course as well. You will learn how to help others learn anything better. Highly recommend this course and Dr. Oakley's books!
By Sara K•
Learning how to learn didn't start out as a course I thought I would be very interested in. I took it because I could audit it, it seemed like a kind of easy class, and I wanted to make sure I could handle taking a course online. But this course turned out to be great, and I would recommend it to anyone doing anything, but especially students in school. This course should be required for all high school and college students. It teaches you about which study methods are most effective, how your memory works, how procrastination works, how to reduce test anxiety, and much more. The videos aren't always so engaging, but that's because it's a lecture, and they're cut up into short pieces, so it's easier to focus on them for a limited amount of time rather than an hour long lecture. I'm really glad I took this course and I'm grateful to Dr. Oakley and Dr. Sejnowski for allowing people who aren't enrolled in their university to take it. If you're wondering whether to take the plunge, I say do it.
By Monika D•
I always remain excited to learn new skills. I had my birthday exactly 10 days before today.I was just counting the new skills I learned in the previous year the list includes, volleyball, mandala, speed reading , journaling and etcetera. When I found my sister talking about this course it was like my dream come true .I was looking for a course of this kind for so long and the good ones are often expensive, but what coursera is providing is qualitative filtered material free of cost.
I have a list of skills I 'm about to learn this year and I know that the techniques like pomodoro, planning before sleeping, using two modes of thinking ,chunking , sleeping well ,exercising , memory PALACE will be of remarkable help.
The most astonishing idea that had just stuck in my mind is that you can change reality by changing your thoughts and perseverance is more important to be successful rather than only being smart.
THANKYOU so much Barb and Terry for teaching me things in simple and deep way .
By Vipin B•
This Course by Barb & Terry is amazing. It has opened many new thinking fronts. Or I can say developed an understanding about how to learn. How the mind works and, how one can overcome with the difficulties of learning new things or subjects. Before starting of the course, I am not confident of myself that I will be able to learn this course or any other course as earlier, I used to start a course and, then soon after starting, I never return on that course. But, with the help of Barb's easy instructions or I should say very simple teaching techinques, I started liking the course. And, then also practising their teaching on day to day life. It haven't changed me fully but yes now, I have changed so many things with the help of this course, that itself is a great thing. I must say one should take this course and, it's very helpful, easy, simply & beautifully taught by both the instructors. Thanks for their valuable inputs and, making changes in the many lives. Wonderful & great work.
By Keith F•
Top class course presented in a straight forward and practical way. They give you bit-size pieces of information that you can easily learn, apply learning methods to the real world (it does not get to theoretical) and they actually practice what they preach. For example, at the end of each part of the course they ask clear questions to secure you recall your key learnings. There are also short and simple practical tests at the end of each section which are supporting your own development and learning. The course has mandatory material and additional material which is of interest but not required, In addition, you have the opportunity to review short papers developed by fellow pupils. You can opt in or out for that but I opted in and found it very inspiring as people were very open and vunerable about their situations and learning opportunities. Great course! Would highly recommend! My own objective was to support my own learning as well as to learn tools for teaching others.
By Chelsey E•
I took this course a starting place for my self learning journey. This is ultimately he best learning course I've ever taken. The material is easy to digest, presented in an engaging format and there is a lot of room to grow. While most first year teaching courses focus on teaching students theoretical applications of learning, this course is focused on teaching each participant how to identify their own learning strengths and how to work on their learning difficulties.Both of the presenters are engaging, although Barbara did a much better job of connecting with the audience than Terry. The featured guest talks should really be mandatory as the information presented by the guest helped to bolster the topics covered in the course.All in all I will definitely recommend this course to anyone who is learning anything ever! This not only allows you to learn about the theoretical applications but will give you the tools to understand why and how you as an individual learns. 5/5!
By Narik B•
Highly informative course, very fun and concise deliverance of teachings which makes learning how to learn exceptionally easy. This course undoubtedly equips you with many highly effective tools to use in the pursuit of knowledge in any field. Highly impactful and greatly recommended to anyone at any age who is interested in gaining mastery in any field.The knowledge gained from this course goes beyond the realms of academic study and can easily be applied to many avenues of life. The skill of learning is essential and beneficial and this course not only provides knowledge on how the brain works, but gives key insights as to how to harness your brain to engage in deep learning and understanding of material. The interviews of persons who have displayed great prowess in learning and memory allowed captivation and motivation as to what is humanly possible. It was very impactful to know what has worked for persons and to be able to incorporate these methods into my learning.
By Rishabh M•
A wonderful course that collects various important tidbits of information related to learning and an explanation of how these can be included in our daily routines to make ourselves more efficient and effective learners. The beauty of this course is that:
1. It's a collection of ideas, tools and techniques that you would normally need to scan several sources for. It collects them and presents them in a way that is most useful for learners.
2. The videos and short and easy to grasp. Rather than overloading students with information, it has been broken down into smaller 'chunks' (ha) that are easier to process.
This course should be mandatory for students across the world because even though our educational systems make outcomes quite clear, there is little explanation of what a good way to achieve those outcomes is. Great work by everyone involved. Highly, highly recommended course for anybody struggling with learning anything new or just wanting to become a better learner.
By Larissa V A•
I really loved the course, I was looking forward to the classes, which are light, relaxed and packed with valuable information.
I can say that I went through a journey of great reflection, self-knowledge and retention of valuable information.
The course introduces various aspects of the learning process, from how your brain and memory work to tips for passing tests. In general, all the tips presented do not apply only to specific academic subjects, they apply to any aspect that we are trying to understand / know.
Class information is light, clear and objective. During the videos, and as new concepts are presented to us, old concepts are continually recalled, rooting the concepts learned in our memory. Tests are also of great value for fixing what has been learned.
I offer my most sincere thanks to Barbara Oakley and Terrence Sejnowski who were at the forefront of transmitting the content, but I also thank the entire team behind the production of this incredible course.