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Back to Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects

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

4.8
stars
70,536 ratings
20,032 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

AK
Aug 17, 2017

It was a wonderful journey of learning how to learn. Simple and effective. Wish i had come across something like this a little early in life. But better late than never. Keep up the good work. Thanks.

RH
Sep 16, 2019

I loved it very much , it helped me in improving my skills and trying to find my passion by learning and have a great energy to do great things , it is my pleasure to have this course from you doctors

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376 - 400 of 10,000 Reviews for Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects

By Joydip M

Aug 6, 2017

to maintain relevancy and continued success in professional world, one needs to be in an environment of continuous learning today. For many of us who are long removed from their college classrooms, this is easier said than done . Time is restricted, distractions and many and so are responsibilities. This course provides wonderful set of strategies and techniques to maximize and upgrade learning capabilities. From the very basics - like importance of sleep - to more intricate techniques like recall over repetition - it is helping me unlearn several things and learn new. It also fills me with lot of hope that it is possible for everyone to learn, and learn better ! Terry and Barbara do an amazing job and by the end of the course, have become something of a coach !

By Dr. J L

Mar 10, 2019

This course was quite interesting and had a lot of useful ideas. I believe that the techiques taught here would definitely be beneficial for many subjects. I am a physicican and recognize that many of the areas of medicine may require pure memory and often "understanding" is not really part of the learning. But the ideas behind making up crazy sentences to help jog your memory of lists is definitely something that I have used and have found very useful. Although I completed school many years ago, I still refer to some of those "crazy sentences" to jog my memory when necessary. I enjoyed taking this course and I thought the instructors were very good. I wish I could have taken this course many years ago when it could have made medical school a bit easier.

By Ruslan

Feb 13, 2019

This course should be compulsory in all areas of education from school to universities. Barbaba Oakley is a gifted teacher, mentor and a great motivator. I always had a trap of "talent and passion" stereotype and now(thanks to this course) it changed. Now i know that there is such thing as neuroplasticity and giving a time to hard work and practice we can change our "talents" and "passions". I always hated this fancy "find your passion" credo and thanks to this course the scientific research proved that it it's a wrong approach. If you are not good at math, logic, or drawing - maybe you will not become Einstein, Bill Gates or Leonardado Da Vinci. But you definitely can master the foundation of this sciences(and far more) even without having a natural talent.

By Morgen C

Feb 22, 2018

Not only did this course give me very practical strategies to more effectively learn as an adult (rather than beating my head against a wall), but it gave me new insights into brain development and learning strategies for my classrooms of younger students.

Barbara is an incredibly engaging speaker who breaks down concepts into easily processed segments...of course, for a scholar who dedicates herself to learning about learning, she is very easy to learn from! Terry is one of the most renowned neuroscientists in the world but surprisingly manages to translate his research into layman's terms without losing his enthusiasm.

I wouldn't mind retaking this course annually to brush up on the scientific research and dig more thoroughly into the supplemental materials!

By Arda B

Jun 5, 2017

This course was my first course on Coursera and a fantastic way to start my new learning journey. As someone who recently finished my undergrad I wish I had taken this class earlier in my academic career. The clear connection between brain science and learning techniques truly illuminated for myself the flaws in my learning practices. However, the information also confirmed for me the strategies I was doing right in my learning and helped grow confidence in my learning style. I know the strategies i've learned in this course will help me learn the new skills I need to achieve personal growth and advance my career. Thank you Barbara Oakley for your enthusiasm and wonderful lectures, I looking forward to utilizing this knowledge for life-long learning.

-Arda

By Petar S M

Feb 10, 2018

I though at first that the 1st week sounded a tad bit too logical to even bother explaining in the first place but I realised later that it was more than necessary in order to understand the material of the upcoming weeks. The only real, but minor issue I had with with this course was the static noise from the speaker's microphone and at some other times it either popped or it was a tad quiet, forcing me to max out the volume slider to 100% so I can hear what she is talking about.

Other than that, this was an amazing course and I highly recommend it to people who want to change their perception of learning as a whole but they lack the foundations or people to fill them in. This course did exactly in a very nice and friendly way, especially with the tests.

By Najib H

Dec 27, 2016

This is one of the best online-course ever!!!! Why? The learning process is something that nobody can escapes: from passing school exams, driving lesson, learn to cook for your family, evolve in your career, ... in this fast world, the on-going learning process is a must have skills to succeed in this high competitive and ever changing society. This wonderful and motivating course, help me to gain in confidence regarding my learning process and it helps me a lot to win time by finding the right system = to improve my learning. Their awesome sharing technics, priceless advices and real life situation (interviews) turn this course into a must have class to follow. Thank you a million for helping me to improve my journey and knowledge!!!! Flawless 5 Star!!!

By Dana S

Aug 23, 2015

This course rocks!

You are thought many different learning techniques and get to know how your brain works in a simple way without too much background information. It's just the right amount of input to get a feeling for it. You can apply this knowledge to every kind of subject. The short videos are easy to persuade yourself to get started. Once started you want to see another one! The lecturers have prepared their videos perfectly and after some videos you feel a little bit connected to them. They are able to do the seemingly unmakeable: Keep you motivated! If I feel myself unmotivated to study for my exam, first of all I watch one of these video sequences and promptly I am motivated again.

Thanks a lot for putting this course online!

I love your work.

By bea b

Sep 22, 2019

I entirely enjoyed 'Learning how to learn'. It has given me insights and skills I had not imagined helpful. It has also shown me that in life we all face hardships of not dissimilar challenges and it depends on us to decipher the do's and don'ts for us to move on and do better the next time or get something going for good or even change something profoundly important in our lives.

I loved the short lessons that I could listen to or read in my own time and I loved Barbara Oakley's soft voice explaining the subject in such detail and very often with metaphors. The quizzes after each lesson were set with a sense of humour and this made the whole thing actual fun.

I would thoroughly recommend this course to anyone. Thank you 'Learning How to Learn'!

By rekha u n

Jan 22, 2017

I am Rekha from Indonesia. During this session I learnt so many things which I was not aware of. For example our brain has two modes of learning focus and diffuse modes, about procrastinating, that it is when we skip some problems when we feel it hard , about rereading, that it is not the correct way of learning. Recall the understangs, deliberatly practicing and repetitions are the correct way to learn and memorize. Chunking was so new to me. I never heard about it. The course was little difficult for me. However, I finished it successfully. I am happy that I got opportunity to improve and enhance my knowledge regarding how to learn. Thank you so much.

By Thoi M

Jan 10, 2020

When completing this course, I've realized how procrastinated I am.

My friend had recommended this course for me since my 1st college year, but I've actually accomplished this course at MY LAST YEAR COLLEGE by using the tactics and techniques, which I've learned along the way this course, to keep myself engaged and interested in learning how to learn, and it eventually worked.

The solid evidence more than anything here is the completed informs from Coursera and I decide to write the review for this course to inform people, who are trying to find out the techniques to learn more effectively and productively, this course is definitely the great start.

Using 1 POMODORO (25 MINUTES TIMMER) to start learning the very first lessons.

STOP PROCRASTINATING.

By Eleni P

May 1, 2018

I never forgot this course! I first enrolled in 2014, got halfway through and did not complete it. I returned to finish it up – to review what I learned and to "learn the rest" – in early April 2018. I had purchased the book "A Mind for Numbers" and read it back in 2014. The book is awesome but taking the class and doing the exercises online plus submitting the assignments really reinforced my learning of the key concepts and gave me a start for where to dig deeper. Redoing this class from start to finish (and not simply picking up where I left off) has armed me to face my new challenges. The class is set up in such a way that you can follow it from most anywhere and can do the assignments at your convenience. It is well worth the time spent on it.

By Kristina C

Aug 26, 2020

There was not a moment where I would find myself bored or uninterested.

This course is comprehensive and very well put together. Easy to follow and most importantly the repetition of learned topics were reoccuring throughout the course in different chapters, as well as the tests which really helped the information to sink in without even trying to do anything extra after completing each chapter and taking the test.

In addition, this course has great references and sources throughout the course that I could not ignore by not writing some of the authors names down in my personal list for future reading material.

Just overall very informative, engaging course that kept my interest until the very end. Thank You so much for putting this course together!

By Valerio C

Dec 17, 2018

This is a very interesting course. I've gained a better understanding on the the learning process, how the brain works on keeping the information, what are the most common errors or obstacle on learning something new and some useful habit or tricks to learn in a more fruitful fashion. I've really appreciate the competence and teach style of the two teachers which I'd like to thank for their work. I strongly recommend this course, especially for students in high school and University because it contains helpful information on how to be more proficient in text or exams. The course could seem less apt for workers and employees, but for someone who wants to get better in what he does and fails on regular basis, this should be a great starting point.

By Emily A B

Feb 4, 2018

Learn to learn has-been the best course I've ever taken ! I want to thank Dr. Barbara for her warm delivery. She made the atmosphere safe for me to learn although she was on my computer. I found myself looking forward to coming home from work so I could be with my new friend, Dr. Oakley. I've been using both Pomodoros: one at work and one at home. My Memory Palace is set with 63 places in which I can place something I want to remember. I'm so excited to use this daily. Although, I haven't mastered everything, I remind myself that I'm forming a habit and there will be days like this and I shouldn't beat myself up when I don't do this well. I'm much kinder to myself as I focus on the process. It's been quite a learning experience. Thank you!!!!!

By Maxim M

Jun 17, 2018

It's a skill for life and if you think it's a little late in your game of study, you can always recommend it to your friends, kids, or even your grandma. BTW am 43 y.o. and excited that I have came across this course. To set the right expectations for this class or any other classes, you don't count on the results of getting 100% of new and essential knowledge every single time. Depending on your background it will be a ratio what you already know and what you don't know. You just have to take with you what fits you and filter out the rest if you want. Thank you Dr. Oakley and Dr. Sejnowski for this course! I already register for the next one with Dr. Oakley "Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential"Max

By Stanly C

Oct 27, 2017

Upto my secondary education, I was totally blind this subject "How to learn". In my college, through reading psychological books, i used many of the tactics explained in this course. Since I'm an enthusiast in almost any subject, this fantastic, systematic and result oriented course "Learning How to Learn" reveal new horizons to learn more and more to me.

The day one I joined this course, I ordered "A Mind for Numbers - How to Excel at Math and Science" in Amazon.in, received it on last week. I started reading eager to finish within this week.

Special thanks to both brains worked behind this course - Dr. Barbara Oakley & Dr. Terrence Sejnowski.

Personally recommends to every person who wish to learn new things and achieve new goals in life.

By Adriana R

Mar 21, 2016

¡¡¡Me encantó el curso!!!

El contenido es claro, actual y pertinente; y la calidad de los videos es muy buena. Las exposiciones de la Doctora Bárbara son excelentes y divertidas, lo cual favorece el aprendizaje. Lo más relevante para mí fue entender el por qué de la procrastinación y cómo evitarla, ya que por años había estado postergando el estudio del inglés y no entendía el por qué de mi rechazo a este idioma. Desde que inicié el curso estoy aplicando la técnica del Pomodoro y estoy feliz porque la sensación de frustración que sentía cada vez que pensaba en que tenía "una tarea pendiente" se ha ido diluyendo conforme pasan los días.

Muchas gracias a los Doctores por compartir tan preciado tesoro y "Gracias Totales" al equipo de COURSERA.

By Maxim K

Sep 5, 2020

Hello,

Thanks authors for creating this course, which both encourages to start learning more on how memory works and equips with powerful knowledge on how to learn. Learning how to learn helped me realize that this is not the product that keep me at my job, but the process—doing my job in English, my second language lifelong mastering I enjoy. What really struck me was that I realised why I was bad at math in school, as Ms. Oakley said, I was "one of those people who can't hold a lot in mind at once, you lose focus and start daydreaming in lectures and have to get to some place quiet to focus so you can use your working memory to its maximum, well welcome to the clan of the creative."

It's really worth spending your time on. Thanks again.

By AHMED D

Jul 22, 2020

Before the review, I would like to point out that I am a teacher and doctoral student, and I have always been making a double effort to learn new things, and this is what motivated me to follow this course.

I also always asked myself questions about what thinking and how my brain works, especially as I try to reflect on my practice and analyze my own way of learning.

This course answered all of these questions and more. She introduced me to the wonderful world of the brain and the latest discoveries in neuroscience, and the wonderful Dr. Barbara Wakley and Dr. Lawrence Signovsky provided me with a set of advice and guidance to make my learning improve dramatically.

If you are ever considering taking this course, do so. It's totally worth it.

By Donna T

Oct 2, 2016

A must for anyone wanting to tweak their learning strategies and understand what really works. Valuable regardless of what you are studying - and fascinating too.

You really feel how much Barb (the main presenter and course creator) cares both about learning and the students! I think it is quite impressive for that to come across in a MOOC.

I have been recommending this course and sharing information from it to many colleagues and also using it to help support my daughter with her studies (I can't guarantee all teens will respond so well to saying 'it is scientifically proven that this is the best way to do it' as a way to change their study approach, but it works for her!). Thank you to everyone involved in putting together this course.

By Dnyaneshwar S D

Dec 25, 2020

Ahh! What a mesmerizing course. I wish, I could have got this course in my childhood, I will be a different person. Anyways, this course is useful for everyone from child to Old age persons.

It gives various techniques to improves your Learning ability. To name a few, shifting from Focus mode to diffused mode is one of the effective way of Learning Hard Concepts. Pomodoro Technique is the best to avoid procrastination. Importance of Building a chunk by giving Focus attention, Understanding basic concept, practising and repeating. Recalling and taking a test is also useful in Building Chunks.

It also gives various techniques to improve our memory.

At the Last, I will strongly recommend this course to everyone.

Thank yo so much.

By Abdellah A

Aug 10, 2020

Dr. Barbara Oakley, Ph.D., P.E.

Hello doctor,

I am one of the students of your “learning how to learn” course in the “coursera” platform. I am writing to tell you: THANK YOU, a BIG THANK YOU, thank you to you and your colleague Doctor Terrence Sejnowski, and your “COURSERA” team. Thank you for your generosity, your caring attitude and your ability to share your knowledge about learning and how to make it more effective.

I am now a retiree from secondary education in Morocco, I was a teacher of life and earth sciences, your course made me aware of my mistakes and my discomforts of my learning, when I was pupil and even teacher. I am very grateful doctor. Thank you very much, you are lovely and spotless. Thank you so much.

By Joanna B

Sep 10, 2017

Very helpful in refreashing and organizing my knowledge about learning. The course is conducted very well, it's quite easy and fun to watch, the informations are approprietly condensed (no unnecessary small talks or prolonged introductions) and we have multiple, not that difficult recall tests. I've learned quite a lot new things; and the broad range of additional reading and video material is very interesting! I like the fact that informations on which the course is based on, are really up-to-date. And last but not least, I grow really fond of dr. Barbara Oakley - walking, talking, ideal teacher for me, I won't even start making here a list the virtues she represents here. Thank you very much for your work, chapeau bas!

By Harshal S

Jul 1, 2020

A course that not only teaches you about the brain and related facts, learning, and fun but also helps you to get in a state where you feel like it's a lot more I can do which we usually never thought that we can do.

I course that I personally loved a lot and I would definitely recommend it to everyone, doesn't matter what your age is and in which field you are working. Learning is something you can do anytime and this course actually guides you on how to learn anything whether new or old in an effective way and for a lifetime.

Last but not the least, I would thank the professors of this course for making such a wonderful, enjoyable, interesting, and loving content.

Thank you to the Coursera team for providing it for free.