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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 Deep Teaching Solutions

76,368 ratings
21,612 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 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.) A related course by the same instructors is Uncommon Sense Teaching. To join the fully translated Portuguese version of the course, visit: To join the fully translated Spanish version of the course, visit: To join the fully translated Chinese version of the course, visit: To join the fully translated French version of the course, visit :

Top reviews

Nov 22, 2015

First MOOC that I can accomplish, even in my busiest days, because I'm motivated to learn the lessons taught in it and I like the teacher and class format (small videos and always repeating concepts).

Sep 6, 2015

I am a more effective learner as a result of this course. It has also, surprisingly, increased my enjoyment while learning. Thanks to Barbara and Terry for a well presented and informative production.

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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 Valli G

Nov 1, 2018

This is the most useful course I have taken in my life.

The lessons are practical and useful.

I see much improvement in my learning abilities & I am more confident now, than before taking this course.

By adopting the techniques I learned in this class, I am learning new subjects to advance my career.

I had been working for years and out of college, I had many doubts about my learning abilities, in particular of new subjects. This course cleared my doubts, dusted off my core abilities.

Great collaboration of the instructors, Dr. Barbara Oakley & Dr. Terrence Sejnowski.

I am very inspired by Dr. Barbara Oakley. I have Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Engineering.

This is the BEST value for my money.

Grateful to Dr. Barbara Oakley & Dr. Terrence Sejnowski for putting this invaluable course. Best Regards.

By Nghia N

Dec 4, 2019

I first heard about this course through others learning to program. I finally decided to start it, and I'm very glad I did. Barbara Oakley and Terrence Sejnowski both clearly know what they're talking about and their lessons and information opened my eyes to how to efficiently learn. I will likely have to pour over my notes again and again to make sure I am learning correctly.What I found the most interesting was how sleep rids our brain of metabolic toxins and that there was two modes of thinking: focused and diffused. I believe these will have the most impact in my studies. If anyone is on the fence about taking this course, as long as you are interested in improving then I would suggest taking it. It's free after all!Thank you for making this course, and I'm interested in reading the book as well.Best Regards

By David P D

Feb 7, 2019

The course was absolutely brilliant. It opened my eyes to the problems I had recently encountered with making a career change and learning the subject matter as easily I was used to. The course also provided both easy to implement strategies for learning any type of subject matter as well as backing up those recommended strategies with scientific fact and relatable examples from their personal experiences with learning or by sharing stories about accomplished scholars and scientists who experienced failure and self-doubt on their journey to success. Dr. Oakley and Dr. Senjowski presented the material in a very down to earth but fun and professional manner. I would highly recommend this course to anyone and everyone wanting to learn something new or deepen their learning on topics they are already familiar with .

By akash G

Aug 24, 2017

I found myself lucky that i found this course on coursera, attended it and completed it. Its not just a course but more than that. Given by professor Barbara Oakley, this course not only helped me to improve my learning method but also taught me various things, like various techniques to increase my learning power, memory power, etc. Apart from the course curriculum, what i found most informative were those interview sessions with people, professors from different places. You can gain a whole bucket full of information by watching those interviews and going through the supplement material that Prof. Oakley has included in this course.

I will suggest this course to everyone who are having a problem while learning new things. Great Course by Great Professor. Thanks Prof. Oakley for teaching "Learning How to Learn".

By Arifa S

Apr 1, 2016

This course is a brilliant, succinct and scientific illustration of the proverb- " the learning period for human is actually from cradle to grave"!!!!!

I have just completed this amazing course and I highly recommend this course to each and every human being who is willing to learn!!!!!! The most wonderful thing about this course is it makes you confident of the learning journey by familiarizing you with the hiccups of the journey and also the necessary ammunition to overcome those . I, a career banker for 15 years and mother of two, sort of gave up the idea of formal education/online degree mostly due to time constraint. After doing this course, I figured that time is not a constraint- the real constraint was my attitude. I'll remain grateful to Barb, Tery and the whole team forever- I am simply overwhelmed.

By Sai S P G

May 26, 2020

This course is extremely beneficial for people of all ages. Best approaches and techniques helped me to learn and understand materials in an effective manner. Knowing about how our brain works and applying things which doesn't waste our mental energy is the main purpose of this course. All the faculties had really helped me especially Ms. Barbara Oakley. She was very much passionate and was very much focused on getting things understood by the students.

I personally recommend everyone to watch the optional interviews too as it gives us a whole new perspective and we can learn a lot from it.

Classes were to the point and didn't beat around the bush which is that one feature I always look for in any course. Special thanks for that. I am very much confident that this will help me a lot in my life. Happy Learning.

By Mahmudun N

Mar 24, 2021

It was great to complete this course!

Throughout my life, I have browsed a lot of time to seek a solution for better study, memorizing tools and so many things like these. Sometimes, I got and sometimes didn't. After that, I got the course and when I had started it, I saw that- I am getting everything in a package.

At the time of the course, I was being surprised at every part of that course and felt regret for myself for not getting the opportunity to at the earlier stage of my life.

I must have to convey my thanks to my institution "Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Maritime University, Bangladesh" for arranging the sponsorship to complete such a wonderful course and the sponsor 'Commonwealth' as well. Obviously, special thanks go to the course conductors for their nice deliveries and the related person also.

By Liuginsa R

Nov 3, 2015

I am fully in love with this course. OMG! If I just would have found this course years ago, I would have saved so much stress and questions about why I am not learning anything from the bunch of text books and articles I read. Now I know I didn't have the right approach and I was just letting information in but it was all lost in the jungle because I wasn't taking the time to form any chunk. Another problems I had, illusions of competence and not taking brakes. Of course, after LH2L, I take brakes and repeat material more frequently to myself. I try to use my diffused mode to recall important information and stick them on my long term memory. Thank you so much to Barabara Oakley for all the interviews to different personalities and for her fresh demeanor while explaining concepts and facts. I just love it!

By Wenjie Z

Sep 15, 2017

I was so surprised that I totally covered the courses independently. finally I finished it by my efforts. actually ,during in the period of learning courses online , I thought I just had a try to learn it , but at last I REALLY kept on learning the courses after everyday's work. I did it .Thanks a million for your high-quality courses which inspired me to challenge myself and build up my own learning style, especially I shared my knowledge ang stories with my students in my class. last but at least learning here online realised my dreams of receiving education in the United States ,Although I never went to the US ,I still learned such amazing courses online of the the US. Tahnks so much for offering chance for the people like me to broaden our horizen,build up our confidence and expland our life !

By Susanne M

Nov 3, 2015

Dear Dr. Oakley, Dr. Sejnowski and the dedicated team in your back, who certainly were part of making this wonderful MOOC possible. As you mentioned repeatedly during the course, learning is a life-long quest and can be one of the most enriching endeavours if one has the right tools to not only know how and where to acquire knowledge but how to make the learning process fun and memorable. The MOOC and the book offer these tools. I have already sent out links - especially to my son, who loves learning but is at the same time a genius in procrastination :) -, to teachers, friends and students and hope that some of them will get inspired by you, the way you have inspired me. I will definitely follow you on Facebook! All the best and once again: Thank you very much for this wonderful learning experience!

By Osei

Jan 27, 2021

I found the course exceptionally helpful. For a long time I was very intimidated by the act of learning. I was afraid of taking test and making mistakes. To overcome this fear I thought it would be helpful to get a deeper understanding of what learning is and how to do it.

This course has deepened my understanding of learning and gave me valuable tools in how to more effectively approach learning. I also feel like it has changed my perspective on learning to a more healthy one.

In the course there is a deep emphasis on the process instead of the product of learning. Being focused on the process has given me a sense of enjoyment I haven't felt in a very long time. I finished the course in a relatively short time and intent to refer back to it more often to solidify my understanding.

Strongly recommend.

By Janet B

Feb 24, 2017

Interesting, engaging and educational! This course is taught in a motivating, fun style that will keep you glued to the screen. Learning How to Learn gives a solid understanding of how our brain retains and recalls information. The videos will help you to beat procrastination, use your time most efficiently when learning new material, and memorize information in different ways. There are lots of super test-taking tips too! Though not required reading, Barbara Oakley's excellent book, "A Mind For Numbers", is a well-written companion for this course. The suggested articles for each week's studies are enlightening and so interesting that you'll read many more than you expected, and come out all the wiser. If want to create a strong foundation for learning new material, this course is a perfect choice.

By Sebastian S

Feb 11, 2019

This course is absolutely fantastic for anyone dealing with learning difficulties, or even trying to find ways to be more efficient at the essential task of learning new things. It tackles the science behind our minds capabilities to retain information. It also focuses on the cognitive and behavioural sides of compelling ourselves to keep learning from the age of 1 to 100. The chapter on procrastination and motivation was extremely useful to me. After decades of struggling with school and career related courses I finally feel that I can recognize the symptoms and correct the negative behaviours that held me back. The video lectures are very informative. Sometimes the subjects are presented with a touch of humour, which helped me remember more then usual. Beware of the Zombies and Vampire bats.

By Антон Р

Apr 5, 2020

This is an amazing MOOC! Although there weren't any "discoveries of the century" for me, and most of the techniques that are covered in this course I suspected to exist or intuitive (kinda) "knew of", this course makes it real easy to see these techniques, use them to your advantage, and as a result - improve your learning and life in general. By using some of the techniques from this course right from the moment I learned them, I moved more easily throughout the course itself, so its pretty much self-solving thing!) You just need to start, and then with every turn of the wheel it gets easier and more interesting. Huge thanks to Barbara Oakley and Dr. Terrence Sejnowsky for creating this MOOC and helping people from around the world to learn how to learn!) Спасибо, Барб и Терри!

By Amy S

Oct 5, 2019

This course is one of the best, if not THE best, MOOC I've taken so far. Dr. Oakley presented the material in a very thoughtful and clear manner. I understood the material easily because of her approach to teaching. Just as she suggests that learners use analogies or metaphors, for example, as a method to better understand and remember a concept, she also uses these methods to present the course material. These methods allowed me to do very well on all the quizzes (which was difficult for me in the past). I thought I knew a lot about how to learn before taking this course, but I was mistaken and had what the course refers to as "illusions of competency." I now know what to do to be most effective in my future learning endeavors. It was well worth my time and effort to take this course.

By Songly H

Oct 9, 2017

Great course! Dr. Oakley and Dr. Senjnowski are great!

This "Learning How to Learn" course is an eye-opener for me as I am able to apply the techniques from the course to help me overcome my learning challenges, such as procrastination, bad learning habit like not recalling or doing spaced repetition, overlearning, too much focus on a minor detailed concept and wasting so much time. I learned a lot about effective learning techniques, which I have never used or heard of, such as chunking, interleaving, focused mode, diffuse mode, Pomodoro. I am looking forward to applying the knowledge and techniques I learned in this course to help me achieve more and better results in my future learning. Thank you Dr. Oakley and Dr. Senjnowski for brining this insightful and impactful course to Coursera!

By Roberto C D

Apr 22, 2020

This is really a best course if you are wishing how to learn! I was blocked in many new themes that I was trying to learn and I was giving up on many of them because I really didn't know that I was trying by the wrong method! I'm surprised how most of themes that I'm trying again are flowing well after applying some of techniques learned here. The course is very well structured and the empathy of the authors makes you learn like you were in a class with the best teachers. The bottom of each chapter presents links to videos and texts that worth to explore! I bought the book "A Mind for Numbers" and I have started to read it ... it's great and I'm loving! It's wonderful like the course and also a great review with the pleasure of touching real paper pages. Thank you so much!

By Nathan K

Oct 22, 2020

Wow, what a course. No, this is not an exaggeration, and I'm definitely not sponsored by Terrence Sejnowski, and Barbara Oakley. No, I'm writing this because this course has truly changed my life. Not only in the short term, but clearly in the long term too. I can already see improvements in my university learning with the pomodoro technique, and I already know that I will apply many of the other skills to my learning too. This is the foundation course, the basic introduction course to learning in general. So it's really perfect for anybody who's currently doing learning in any regard whatsoever, be it high school, university, or just personal learning. This course gave me, and will probably give you the most important skills and abilities to aid you in your lifelong learning adventures.

By Chee Y

Aug 26, 2018

If you are struggling to learn either because the material is too abundant, too 'difficult' or you are just struggling to learn as efficiently as you would like for some reason, this is the class for you!!!

Thank you, Dr. Barbara Oakly and Dr. Sejnoski!!!

I have now taken and enjoyed several courses on Coursera. Learning how to Learn has been by far the most helpful, enjoyable, and important class. I was absolutely great to explore how our entire body works to help us learn. I took extra time to complete this course because I wanted to be slow and progressively implement the suggested changes. I have experienced a lot of improvement... still working on some of the tricks to fully take advantage of the course and improve to the max.

Absolutely one of the best courses online.. and it's free!

By Big W

Jan 7, 2016

-------- this course should be used as a model for all the other courses. this course tells you what they're going to tell you and then they tell you; then they tell you what they told you. then, of course, they repeat what they told you a little bit later and then a while later, and yet again much later . i'm teasing, slightly. but this course does what they say they're going to do !

they tell you and give you a chance to practice what they told you. then they give you another chance to practice a little while later, and yet again, much later, etc . . .

the subtitles match the speech. the subtitles are correctly spelled. the speech is correctly pronounced. they mix and match the points they're making, interleaving as they go.

this is the way all courses should be . . .

By Eliza L S F

Oct 2, 2020

Thank you so much to my Professor Dr. Barbara Oakley for this course I learn to understand myself why I am subconsciously doing those things, such as procrastination. Procrastination is helpful and harmful at the same time if I can not manage it. Through this course Learning How to Learn, I learned how to manage it to minimize it accordingly when I need to procrastinate and when I need to stop to procrastinate and to go back to my task. I wish to take again the course to remind myself of everything I learned and to internalized the course.

Thank you, Dr. Barbara Oakley, I miss your voice and the closing line in every video.

Lastly, may I know how to apply financial aid so that I can have the certificate of this course. I hope to hear from COURSERA Team.

Thank you and God bless everyone.

By Pralhad S S

Sep 10, 2020

To some the course may feel to be too obvious from the title. But make no mistake, you are in for an amazing journey into understanding the neuroscience of how the human brain operates. The course is kept pretty light and is approachable to anyone over the age of 13 (as per my opinion). The sooner you complete this course in your life, the more you will thank yourself in the future.

You will start taking a step back and observe and understand the little cues as you learn a new skill or concept. The instructors have done a great job of condensing the latest scientific research for the human brain, into understandable tidbits for people outside the research community. If you are new on coursera or have been on the platform for a while, this should definitely be the next course you take.

By Bob W

Apr 17, 2020

A lot great inspirational content, pleasant teaching and presentation.

Some of the transcript-language, when read without the video, is not really clear, but vague. Those instances , there are quiet a few, took a bunch of guessing, to figure out what the interviewer or guest meant to say. A L O T of info material . So,if you are one of us- creatives / artists, you my find yourself a bit overwhelmed. Just take it easy, pick the info you think you need and complete the course, it will make you A) think a lot more about your children, students and your own learning habits. And thats a very good thing. I just got married, after 76 years und have a little 6 year old, who needs help with 'Learning how to Learn' . So this is my opportunity to learn more, so I can help her. Thanks Coursera

By Honey S

Oct 5, 2018

Excellent course on 'Learning How to Learn". Dr.Barb's presentation style is amazing. The techniques mentioned in this course are really helpful especially the Pomodoro Technique. I just loved it. Got a basic understanding of neuro-scientific perspective of our learning. Optional interview sessions are just the icing on the cake. It's really an opportunity to hear from legend learners and scientists from varying disciplines and geographies. I haven't missed any of those interview sessions. I would say it shouldn't be labelled as 'Optional'. All students of this course should listen to those interviews.

Hats off, Dr.Barb and Dr.Terrence for this wonderful course. Thank you very much for sharing bits of your knowledge for the benefit of us. Waiting to see more courses from this team!!