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 Jen M•
I found Barbara Oakley by watching her great Tedtalk on YouTube, so I remembered her name when I got an email recommending her course, Learning How to Learn. Having completed a Masters degree in Educational Leadership in the UK in 2005 it was great to have this course suddenly present itself when I had time over the Christmas break, and especially because Barbara was one of the two main presenters. She is my perfect tutor, knowledgeable, professional, but a real people person. I can understand everything she says and her enthusiasm for learning is inspiring. I enjoyed every minute of the course. I particularly like the way she, Terry and others contributing read the transcript aloud as the student can follow it by reading the text at the same time. I felt I learnt a huge amount that will definitely help me in any future studies. It has reinforced my love of lifelong learning, restored my confidence, guided my decisions in my life, and added new purpose and enjoyment in life after a bad year for me involving a separation, the uncertainty from Covid19 and other difficulties. Completing this MOOC has been better than therapy for me, and builds on the knowledge from the Preventing Dementia MOOC. I have now experienced the benefits of learning,, and socialising to an extent in the Discussion boards and peer reviews, and cannot recommend this MOOC highly enough.
By Kate A•
I took this class before beginning completion of a formal bachelors degree at an online university. It’s been 13 years since I went to college and quit, and since it’s so much more expensive now than it was, I wanted to make sure my more mature and rusty brain would get the most out of it.
I’m really, really glad I did! I feel more confident that I’ll be able to handle the workload when spring semester starts. Not only that, but I’ve learned quite a few good techniques to handle issues in daily life as well. I also recently received an ADD diagnosis, and these techniques are already helping me learn how to use my brain better.
The most impactful is her discussion on process vs product with procrastination, and the pomodoro technique. A lot of advice that I’ve previously read said to focus on a task until it is done, no matter how long it takes; which never really worked for me, and now I know it’s because my brain is not wired for long focus on something I’m not deeply interested in. Using the pomodoro and process focus techniques, I can muster up 25 minutes of solid focus, while not letting the anxiety of getting it completed distract me for that time.
I would recommend this course to everyone. Let’s face it, most of us probably aren’t using our brains that well, and this course gives some great insights on how brains work, and how to use them better.
By Gizelle L•
I graduated from college 5 years ago and have been looking to get back into the swing of taking courses and studying to further my education, both for my career and leisure. But it's been a daunting prospect because it's been so long and I'm not in a regimented program (I work full time, so school is no longer the only thing in my life). My brother introduced me to Professor Barbara Oakley's work and suggested I take this MOOC as a "warm up", if you will, to not only help get me back into "student mode", but also gain a better understanding of how the process of learning works. I have to say, this course was well worth it! I learned a lot of valuable information, and the course has helped with some of my habits - I find myself recalling concepts like "chunking" and "Einstulling" in everyday life - and I plan on reading the optional material now that I've finished the course. The optional videos are also worth watching and help reinforce the ideas being taught in the primary lessons. I have to say that it wasn't easy taking this course - by Week 3 and 4 real life started creeping in and I found it difficult to keep to the schedule I had set for myself to "focus" on the material. But I dealt with it head on. The entire experience online and offline was worthwhile because this is how things are going to be for future courses I take.
By verna k•
This was a fantastic course.
The course was in small chunks, therefore, I found it easy to complete the weekly modules without it taking up much of my day or week.
I appreciated the mini-tests after the majority of the videos as this would help me gauge my understanding of that particular video.
Having tests at the end of the week also was helpful to my learning.
The interweaving of information also helped me recall information from previous weeks.
Great tips, techniques, advice on how to be a better learner - practical tips. So just doing the course and NOT enacting the advice won't be of much use to you, however, practice the techniques over a period of time IS.
It's stuff even as someone who has completed her bachelor degree believes anyone can find this useful. I actually also was able to relate some of the things I've learned on this course to how I would answer interview questions.
The pace was consistent.
The content was manageable.
The structure was well put together.
It's free. With options to pay, so if you don't feel like you benefited from this course (I doubt it) you haven't wasted your money.
I can not say enough positive things about this course.
Taking so long to find this course. Wish I was able to find this course BEFORE I started my undergraduate degree. But I can not in all honesty fault this course.
By Itay B•
I have learned a lot during the course. The process led me into a better understanding of what I have already known, besides strengthening other aspects of learning which I had not focused much. For me, the key ideas were crucial and I can now say that I learned how to learn! The course was a very beneficial one due to the importance of the material, the great lecturers and the practical methods that can be used frequently.
Here are some of the key methods:
-Distinguish between the focus mode and the diffuse mode, when to use them and what their advantages
-Learn effectively different subjects using a focused small period of time and taking sportives breaks so you can enter the diffuse mode and fresh your thinking
-get a better understanding of the memory, learning how to chunk an idea or method and learning material with a positive feeling and fun using metaphors.
-recall, memory palace, deliberate learning, outline ideas
I want to thanks Dr. Barbara Oakley for the great teaching and also to Dr. Terrence Sejnowski for the deep information and meaningful stories.
Last but not least.
I think you should try it! You can not know when you will need to use this material,
and more correct after taking this course you can not know when not to use it!
Author: Itay Barok.
on a des enseignants extrêmement compétents, pédagogues et humains. On est invité à ouvrir sa curiosité d'apprendre, tel un enfant qui découvre le monde. Mais ce sont bien des cours très sérieux, pour adolescents et adultes, et qui nous apprennent les meilleures techniques pour mieux apprendre, bien apprendre, appuyées sur des faits et des études scientifiques. De l'essentiel en toute simplicité. Une richesse énorme avec les témoignages de vie et des conseils de personnes extraordinaires, en toute humilité. Ne négligez pas les interviews, ils sont l'image, le concret, la métaphore vivante de ce que les cours nous expliquent. Un très grand merci.
we have very highly competent teachers, pedagogues and humans. We're invited to open our curiosity to learn, like a child who discovers the world. But these courses are very serious, made for teenagers and adults, because they teach us the best techniques to learn better, to learn efficiently. Lessons are based on facts and scientific studies. Only the Essential. A tremendous quality and quantity of information given with testimonies of life and advices from extraordinary and humble people. Do have a look at the interviews, they are the image, the concrete, the living metaphor of what the courses explain. A very big thank you.
By David P•
For anyone of almost any age (there is an associated book on Learning How to Learn for Kids and Teens) I would and could not recommend this course strongly enough.It takes a basic level of effort to go through each week and complete watching the videos and doing the accompanying quizzes.The advice Dr. Barbara Oakley and Dr. Terrence Sejnowski give is concise, interesting and practical and simple to apply for anyone.I think this is the sort of material that should be taught at schools and emphasised.Since a lot of the focus at school is concentrating on WHAT you learn but it seems the all important HOW is barely addressed though I hope with courses and information like this that will change in time for a better balance.When you think about it seems so logical and obvious that this should be taught in schools.I think if I had been taught these key concepts when I was in school things would have turned out much different but also now with this knowledge it still can turn out different.Again I highly recommend taking this course to enlighten yourself and better prepare for your next test or course of study be it personal or professional. You will without a doubt get much more out of your future studies.All the very best of success to you.Remember " Fortune Favours the Bold! "
By Sofia A B•
Learning How to Learn has rekindled my passion of teaching and preparing students for tests. As a teacher of Academic English and Test Preparation, motivating students and understanding which methods would work better for them have been quite a struggle. Thanks to this course, I now have more knowledge to share with my learners and also to apply in my own learning path.
This course starts with an explanation of the human brain and thinking patterns, without boring you, yet including the nitty-gritty of the foundations of learning. The analogies used in the videos and by the wonderful teachers in this course have helped me understand complex brain processes in a simplified, comprehensible manner.
The videos include the physiology of the brain and the relevance of sleeping and exercise in forming new learning opportunities for our brain. There are also tons of tips and suggestions in preparing for tests, acquiring new knowledge and retaining information. As the teachers explain, especially Ms. Barb Oakley, thinking you only have certain strengths and weaknesses leads you to thinking that way and not taking any measures to learn what you are not good at – which should be quite the opposite. The teachers guide you step by step through the ideal learning process.
By Andreia D•
This is an empowering course that helps you to think you too can get better at learning and mastering complex topics. Think that schools should have this course at the beginning of their curriculum at different stages - kindergarden, primary school, high school, college and other studies. In each new stage you should revise these concepts, to make sure you are always on the right track to effective learning.
The quality of some videos and interviews could be improved (some interviews end with an abrupt cut and subjects seem to be rambling in some parts). Gave it the highest rate because of the novelty and usefulness of content but think it can be improved in those aspects.
The course helps to overcome the insecurity that arises when going to uncharted territory and to motivate you to learn things that you don't feel naturally talented to learn (favoring a growth mindset vs a fixed mindset) and so I think it is a fundamental tool in times where continuous learning is key.
Keep up the good work!
PS: really liked the interviews with the computer science and language learning hackers (so motivating to see that people can have that sort of motivation and discipline to learn on their own, and bring to light resources that are in most part available to everyone)
By Vipin K•
First thing first, Dr. Barbara Oakley is a good teacher, and trust me when I say you won't regret taking this course. Her poise, pace and voice is unique and very effective. My sincerest thanks to her and the team who has put together is course after extensive research and CHUNKING it for us. I wish I could access to this in my high school days. But, its never late!I have been trying to learn a lot of things that interests me; but never have continuity and able to finish them (if not mastering). This insightful course has taught me why and will help me see learning in a different perspective by debunking. Concepts of Chunking, Illusion of Competence, Recall & reward, diffused and focussed modes, zombies, metaphors & analogy etc., not only helps you learn but practicing them often with yourself and teaching them to others will be rewarding. The best outcome however I want to take from this course is stopping my procastination while multitasking is required.For learners - watch out for the additional interviews after every week's main content. A request, don't practice your randomness on this course, it is structured to give best results. If possible, let your kids take this course.Thank you Dr. Oakley and the team; and happy teaching more.Vipin Krishnan
By Hashem E•
I had a discussion with a friend on how I chose the course as she's confused between the variety of courses out there. Here's what I said.
Reasons that I like the course:
: 1- It is quite practical and useful, very applicable in all sorts of areas. 2- Ir presents new information (and I'm not a stranger to the field) and evidence/sources. 3- It gives examples and demonstrations (esp. visual) to help clarify the concepts 4- Mixes between the personal aspect of having an instructor and the value/engagement of displaying images and such from the web.
Reasons that I chose the course to begin with:
The topic itself is very important, especially because it can optimize all your work (make it exponential, ya3ni if you learn faster by 2X for example, you'd have a very positive impact in your professional development and such). I was searching for the topic "learning how to learn" and this was one of the few courses with this title. Plus, the credibility of the instructors (e.g. Mcamaster university) and the fact that it has discussion forums
I have to say that their visual/audio effects are quite lame and it's a bit crude مشرتح but I don't care much for the aesthetic sides of things so it suits me well. The content is great.
By Tuvshinzaya A•
Its ranking as the best course on MOOC is highly deserved! They really delivered on bringing visual aids and metaphors to the concept they were teaching - walking the walk, as well as talking the talk. As a perpetual student and an aspiring professor one-day, I really appreciated this amazing course that Barbara and Terrence have put together. I am taking away many practical lessons from this class: how to engage my diffuse mode thinking (Dali!), importance of flushing out metabolic brain toxin by sleeping, and how to keep away memory vampires by practice! Not to mention, I actually went and learned how to make animated video for the final assignment - something that I have been thinking for a while and kept putting away. This course finally provided the push and the confidence to start that project, and not only that, but I am now re-evaluating all the areas of learning that I pushed away thinking that I was simply better at other things - learning foreign languages or material science. Now I am off to find MOOCs in those areas with the knowledge that it will be worth my time and effort to learn them - even if I am not "naturally gifted" in them. All the love and best wishes for Dr. Barbara Oakley & Dr. Terrence from Mongolia!
By Jin K•
Really useful course. It helps me review my works and study.
I come from Taiwan, currently as a MBA student studying in the UK.
As a non English native speaker, it is really stressful to learn new things in academic level in a foreign language. I used to force myself study for a very long time without a break, but the results were not good as I expected. I blamed this to my language barrier, I thought the difference between the other successful peers is I couldn't have an the chance as the others who had better educational environment and leant English on the early stage.
This class lets me understand the biggest challenge of my learning is procrastination. Hopefully, procrastination is nothing about being stupid or should feel shame about, it is a natural metal mechanism of our brain avoiding unpleasure things. And it can be overcome by methods and practices. Pomodoro Technique really helps my memory and extends the time I keep concentrate on one thing. With the practice my brain works more efficient and it brings better result.
I recommend this course for the other who is struling with the barrier on learning and who does not have confident for himself/ herself on working and leaning. This course may change your mind.
By Keith D G•
I'm Keith Grimes and I just completed your course. I really enjoyed the course and feel that I've learned quite a bit about learning. I enrolled in the course simply because I felt it was time to take my love of "the idea of learning" and turn it into "the practice of actually learning something."
What I loved most about the course was Barbara Oakley herself and her inspiring story. I graduated from Oakland University with a bachelors degree in English. During those undergrad days, I often experienced the Impostor Syndrome. Discovering that there was an actual name for what I often felt, combined with the struggle to learn that Dr. Oakley experienced in her younger years, really connected with me. Thank you for sharing.
One other note... I recently had the opportunity to share many of these ideas and concepts with my son who is a sophomore at Michigan State University. As Dr. Sejnowski mentioned in the final video, the measure of really knowing if you've learned something is to teach it to someone else. Sharing what I learned with my son in order to help him along his journey as a student, was an invaluable experience.
Thanks again for offering this course.
Keith D. Grimes
By Janis V•
I loved it from the beginning till the end! It was perfectly structured (easily "chunkable":)), each video was really exciting and very easy to understand! I can only regret that I did not learn all of this back when I was studying at high school and the university. I'm sure I would have had more confidence and would have learned more deeply both several of the advanced mathematics subjects during my computer science studies at the university as well as in various other subjects earlier at school.
Among all of the great ideas presented in the course I would like to highlight the idea that you have just four or so short term memory slots available to your focused thinking as something that I think would be very motivating for anyone not to give up complex subjects. In case you don't understand something all you have to do is grow chunks of the concepts (i.e. grow some neuron connections) involved using the focused and diffuse mode and give them some time to form.
I have to get it translated to Latvian and popularize it here somehow. I think that could be one of the most efficient ways how to both increase the number of people who study the sciences as well as raise the average level of education at least a bit.
By Raj C•
This course has opened my eyes to learning and provided me with a solid foundation to rebuild my own learning methods and strategies. I have gained tremendous insight about various forces at play that need to work like a well orchestrated symphony if I am to tackle complex subjects and master learning.
The course is structured very well with short video lectures and sprinkled with quizzes to help you retain invaluable information. Also, there is opportunity for supplemental work to further cement one's newly discovered strengths. The optional reading sections and interviews with various people has further augmented my understanding and sparked ideas for novel applications of learning.
By applying the techniques, I have already started to retain and recall more information than I have ever done before. I have also stopped wasting my time by re-reading material endlessly or writing things down. Instead after learning something new, I pause after each key idea and test myself if I can recall the gist of it and see how it fits with the rest of knowledge mass. This technique alone has unlocked my potential.
I highly recommend this course to anybody. I am super excited for finding something that actually works.
By James L•
Quick review. Course is a must for any discipline!
As an Electrical Engineering student. We are trained in first year to learn properly. Quickly read the lecture beforehand, ask questions, do the practice tutorials the day before, read over the notes you made during the say, get enough sleep and so on. Many of the things taught in the course I already knew, but the major difference is why we should be doing such things. You just should. However, now being shown why such things work and how everything relates to others has fundamentally changed my approach in learning my degree. Actively knowing that putting in effort in certain techniques taught here will improve the learning of the degree; and seeing the difference already in my grades and mood wasn't something I was expecting. The best part was of talking procrastination, where I knew of the pormodoro technique but it never worked due to not being able to spot the cues of procrastination. By simply saying that's cue, back to work. I can pull 8 hour days and complete all my assignments without feeling like I've killed myself .
If anything I can contribute my degree to is this. No longer am I just passing, I'm actually doing well.
By Geoffrey S•
All the study tips I should've used in school and more! I felt this course was an easy way to get into the world of online courses. I had read a couple chapters of the Learning How to Learn book first, got stuck, and decided to try the course. The material is presented in quick snippets, but as I learned how my brain worked, I found myself finishing multiple videos and even clicking a couple bonus materials.Week 2's interview with Dr. Fortenberry emphasized teamwork and taking an objective oriented approach to road bumps in a learning journey.Week 3's interview Keith Devlin emphasized taking a focused approach to your work/passion and that it's ok if you don't know the solution off hand. Using the tools you do have and applying mental brute force might be your only option to start. If you don't start you'll never complete the journey that's associated with a problem!Even though I am out of school now, the course provided relevant insight to how my brain works and treating learning like building the structure of your dreams. There are snippets on how you can get past your own mental hurdles holding you back from accomplishing you goals and how you can reduce the anxiety and pressure while you get there.
By Ching K R L•
One of the most useful courses I took! Each of the modules provides unique tips to overcome difficulties in learning, such as procrastination, taking exams and revision, etc. I found that the short videos provided by Dr Oakley are very convincing! You can read more as a reference list is provided at the end of the video as well. The coverage of the material is also broad, I think everybody can try to practice these techniques mentioned when they are studying as well.
I also appreciate the optional content embedded in the course as well. They include interviews (one from professor Keith Devlin, the instructor of “Introduction to Mathematical Thinking” as well!), and 2 further writing peer-reviewed assignment. I think these contents are what made the course so good, it provides you with a chance to produce a project (a poster, a presentation, or even a song!) to showcase and summarize what you had learnt during the 4-week course. During the production of the project, I feel like the values taught in the class is more thoroughly embedded in my mind.
Overall, I highly recommend this course to people who struggle at learning sometimes (just like me), I am sure you will learn a lot by watching the videos!
By Amanda P M•
Superb. This is the first MOOC I managed to finish, and now I'm actively exploring all the extra resources and videos from the course.
I originally enrolled looking for tips on how to make my courses more accessible for my students (I'm a college instructor), and also to help me hone my learning skills, since I'm starting to delve on different fields of study. Not only did I achieve those goals, but I'm also very excited to explore new MOOCs and online study possibilities.
The only downside, if one could say such, is that this course sets quite a high bar in how a MOOC should be: one can easily percieve that everything about its format -- from the weekly newsletter to the videos' length and visuals to the structure and syllabus -- is made with careful consideration of the context of online learning, and of the fundamentals of neuroscience the course shares with the students. Many (good!) MOOCs aren't as well tailored as this one.
I absolutely recommend it to anyone who is interested (even if frustrated!) with learning, be it independently, online or in a traditional classroom environment. Congratulations and warm thank yous to Dr. Oakley, Dr. Sejnowski, and the Learning How to Learn Team!
By Sushaan M•
This course is 4 weeks long; Why Do something new for30 days; do this course.
If you've always wanted t be a much better learner , then nows the time: think about it, you've always wanted to add to your learnings in life , advent you? Invest in Meta learning - Learning about learning - for the next 30 days.
30 days is a great time span, it's just about the right amount of time to add this new habit , Learning how to learn, to your life.
Get a hold of the coming month, (theres a course starting right now on 22 march2016), and you can find instead of t 2016 flying by, forgotten, the time invested in March/ April will make everything in 2016 and beyond much more memorable. Your self-confidence as a Learner par excellence will grow exponentially.!
if you really want to be a superlative learner badly enough, you can certainly do this course with dedication & commitment for 30 days.When you make small, sustainable changes, things you keep doing, they are more likely to stick.
So here's my question to you: What are you waiting for? the next 30 days are going to pass anyhow, so why not Choose To be A Skilful Learner, something you have always wanted to do and give it a shot!
By Rahul B•
I think this is one of the best courses I have attended. I wish concepts taught in this class are taught to every student right from the early age. I am 39 years old and as I look for a job (I was laid off a while back), I feel educating myself by getting certifications would be a good idea to enhance my prospects of exposing myself to better opportunities and with this course I have the self confidence that yes I can learn and get good grades in my certifications.
I was getting bogged down by procrastination to a very large extent in my life and this course helped me deal with the procrastination zombies using pomodoro, this feels so empowering and I am glad I did not choose depression or bad habits. After incorporating the pomodoro technique I have also significantly reduced my 10+ year smoking habit and I am confident I will get rid of it like a champ.
Listening to professors from such esteemed colleges and universities help break the dogma/belief in my head that people are born genius. With hard work, dedication and self-belief anything is possible.
Lastly, I want to thank Barbara Oakley and Terry Sejnowski from the bottom of my heart, Thank you for teaching me about learning.
By Greg M•
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•
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•
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.