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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
74,231 ratings
21,044 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

BH
Nov 13, 2015

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.

MI
Oct 2, 2015

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.

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451 - 475 of 10,000 Reviews for Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects

By Aviv B

Apr 7, 2020

The course delves into a variety of relevant subjects related to the learning process. It is built in an outstanding way, so it is suitable for different age groups with different intellectual levels.

Although I would have liked to see more practical explanations regarding the ways one can apply the information in their own lives, I still enjoyed and gained from every minute of this course.

Barbara Oakley and Terrence Sejnowski are doing an amazing job guiding the course. Barbara is very well-spoken and articulated which made it extremely easy to understand the material.

To conclude, I strongly advise those enthusiastic learners, to take this course. I wish you the best of luck in all your future endeavors.

By Tiago C M

Jan 25, 2020

It really helped me in so many levels that i don't even know how to delimit its influence on my posterior perception concerning on the act of learning. To establish a concrete example, just the idea of modes of thinking and the importance of alternating them to access more of my own cognitive machinery to help me to solve problems is on its own enough to say that doing this MOOC was time well spent. By the way, i plan to redo the course later to better chunk the presented concepts and confront them with the mental images that I've created of them when introspecting between lessons. Many thanks for the shared knowledge, and I've already started reading the Mind for Numbers book influenced by this journey.

By Nada Z

Dec 5, 2015

This is an extremely useful course. I recommend it for everyone, no matter your level of education or indeed your age. I think this course should be mandatory for both high school students and their parents. The main reason being so that students can master these skills early in their years and both parents and students understand, in particular, the value of exercise and sleep in learning. Thank you to all those people who put together this course. Although Dr Oakley and Dr Sejnowski are the faces of this course, I know there were many more involved in the conceptualisation and building of this course. Thank you for making it a MOOC and thank you for such a wonderful clear format that was easy to follow.

By Kishka P

Aug 17, 2015

I loved this course! I was really useful and easy to apply the tools to my behaviour and other learning activities immediately. I even shared with my partner and friends all of whom were very surprised and pleased with the results. Though the course material is REALLY interesting, I believe it is the delivery that made it GREAT! Barbara made this learning experience for me truly memorable. She has a gentle clear approach and a warm and encouraging nature. Thank you to everyone involved, but an especially BIG THANK YOU TO BARBARA. You should be very proud at your contribution to learning, I think it will have a massively positive impact on so many people. Well done! I will look out for your future courses.

By Lucimeire A M

May 15, 2020

This course is wonderful! This was a good opportunity to learn useful tools to improve my knowledges. Most of the videos contain important information to the comprehension about learning process. The interviews are interesting, I loved each piece of advices given by the professors and the specialists, I think this experience has helped me to focus my attention on the diffuse modo, because it is a good way to improve my skills. Another topic I have loved is the procrastination. From now on I understand better what is happening to me, and how to manage my procrastination. I am very grateful to the professors, Dr. Barbara Oakley and Dr. Terrence Sejnowski you are great professors, Thank you very much again!

By Ifiok E

Apr 13, 2020

This course is highly recommended for anyone (regardless of age) who wants to know just how to learn effectively. It is practical and uses metaphors and analogies excellently to drive home the point.If you are having any problem with learning something new, difficult, complex and challenging, here's your solution.If you find yourself banging your head against the wall (literally) when trying to solve problems, then you need to take the time that is required to take this course.If you've been having problems with procrastination (like I was), you'll learn about a tool that will help you tackle and overcome procrastination.Thank you Dr. Barbara Oakley and Dr. Terrence Sejnowski for this. I'm in your debt.

By Lilian F

Aug 9, 2019

With this course, I learned a lot of new techniques and helpful tips that will help me learn and understand any material or concept effectively. I am planning to employ some of these tips and techniques in my upcoming fall semester at university. This course also helped me look at learning from a different perspective, evaluate my current studying methods, and improve my understanding of the brain and the different ways of utilizing its abilities to unlock the hidden potentials that will allow you to succeed in your studies and life. I recommend this course for anyone who is looking to improve and enhance their learning abilities and studying methods to do well in your future studies and upcoming tests.

By Антон Ю М

Aug 21, 2018

Really good and helpful course. If you are in a start or middle of the learning process, it helps improve or change learning method in better way.

Lots of interesting information about the brain will be interesting to kids and give them good start.

Older people find a good system for planing their time and get more time to know new things.

Хороший и полезный курс. Если вы начали что-то изучать или еще проходите обучение в школе или университете, курс поможет скорректировать или изменить метод обучения. Интересная информация о мозге будет занимательной для детей, что поможет с младых лет сформировать правильный подход к обучению. Людям старшего возраста поможет правильнее распределять время на обучение.

By Abhishek S

May 5, 2017

This is the best course on Coursera which helps you learn about how to learn anything, how to develop good learning habits , and learning powerful mental tools & strategies for good studying. The instructors are really very engaging and you will love studying with them. As you walk through this course, you will start applying and practicing your learning of the course and by the end of the course, you will be using this knowledge in learning and mastering any tough subjects or new languages or acquiring new skills in a right , easy and efficient way. This course has something for everyone of any age and is ideal for everyone who is keen to learn anything quickly or effectively. Happy Learning!!!!!!!

By Pris T

Nov 16, 2020

Really enjoyed this course, especially appreciated Barbara Oakley's candid way of presenting. I've learnt new perspectives of how our brains work, and I look forward to apply methods for learning more effectively like the Pomodoro, shifting between focused and diffused mode, etc. It's been a real pleasure to learn while enjoying the interesting puns and illustrations during the videos and in the tests. I encourage anyone to take up this course with an open mind, whether you are studying or working. Also felt inspired by Barbara's anecdote of her own experiences of learning and career, it made me think that I can learn things I'm not naturally good at. Thank you for teaching us how to learn better!

By Robert B

Feb 7, 2016

I learned sooooooo many actionable techniques, strategies and concepts that really works if you implement them. One or two tactics in this course I heard about through the accelerated learning grapevine over the years, but here the techniques are backed by credible research, giving me more confidence to apply them consistently.

I was initially concerned this course was going to be full of more dry theory than practical application, that I almost skipped it. Very glad I didn't. Each module succeeds in being engaging and informative in ways that can be applied immediately to one's learning projects for better results or to a less stressful path to the same results....excellence.

Highly Recommended.

By Mariana L d B e L B S

Apr 29, 2020

The course material is great and concepts are awesome. I really enjoyed the video lectures and all the techniques that I learned. The teachers explain everything in an interesting away that allows us to retain our attention. I believe that many concepts I learned will be very helpfull in my future and will allow me change for the better. I already tried to implement some techniques while I was attending the course. I already started to use the Pomodoro clock and how happy I was to check this as a great productivity toll. The course offers a great amount of optional sources of information like more readings and great interviews of special guests. Thank you! I really enjoyed to learn how to learn!

By Aaron R

Apr 22, 2017

Awesome, Mind expanding and contracting! This course will show you how to turn your mind inside out, upside down, and unlock the keys to transforming yourself in ways you have never imagined. I recommend this course to at least one person a day, and to anyone who wants to become a better student in school or of life. Thank you to Dr Oakley, and her team at Coursera. Applying the principals of procrastination, and understanding to the ways my eating habits were influenced by the insular cortex and the process of replacing pain with pleasure helped me stop drinking coffee and alcohol, cut down on "comfort foods" like carbs, and meat, and lose 25 pounds within three weeks of completing the course.

By Peter W

Jul 9, 2020

After 40 years of not attending classes, this was the perfect way to step back into a virtual classroom and reexamine my life as a perpetual student. This class did much to confirm that as a trained musician, I've learned how to learn at a very early age. Also, I've had some great teachers along the way that taught me that the best teacher is one that teaches a student how to learn on their own. Grateful for taking notes once again and doing little quizzes. I also enjoyed the chance to do a little writing for this class, something I don't get to do in much in my normal life. Looking very much to picking some other classes to attend virtually while holed up with this pandemic. What a great gift!

By Carla M

Jul 4, 2020

I truly enjoyed this course and learned new information and strategies I can use personally and professionally to learn and do more with the time available. In my job, I'm constantly learning new things as I work with teams on diverse topics in health and education. While taking the course, I was also writing podcast scripts (for my job) on health and wellness in schools and in the workplace, and I found myself writing them in Barb's voice--kind, pleasant, curious, encouraging. The depth and breadth of this course far exceeded my expectations. I was never bored, and the content was so rich that not a single reading or video felt like a waste of time. I could tell it was a labor of love. Bravo!

By Jens G

Dec 21, 2019

I wish I knew about this before i started to study in University. This is a great starting course no matter your discipline that you are interested in.

This might be the most self improving and valuable course! But you need to have the dedication to stick with this course. I expect that younger people wont have the discipline or interest in this topic even tough it is very important.

If you are like me and studied a couple of years you will recognize your mistaken learning strategies, which is great so you can substantially improve future learning and it makes learning more fun!

Learning is not as easy to understand as it might seem. You need to bring some reflection time with you and patience.

By Gira

Aug 10, 2020

El curso has sido muy bueno y facil de entender. Barbara and Terry explican conceptos que aunque tan odvios hacen que el aprendizaje se haga mas facil y efectivo. Un tema que debiera ensenarse en la education media y en la universidad cuando tenemos que estudiar en forma rapida y efectiva. El curso me hizo recordar mucho mis tiempos de Universidad cuando debido a poco apoyo familiar y estudiantil perdi un tiempo valioso estudiando de la forma incorrecta. Ahora entiendo mucho mas lo que realmente ayuda en el aprendizaje y les he mencionado esto a mis hijas para que puedan tener un proceso de aprendizaje mas efectivo y duradero.

Realmente he disfrutado este curso y la forma como esta disenado.

By KAVYA M

Dec 24, 2020

I loved the course throughout. It is a must-do course for anyone at any stage of learning. It taught me how to learn and also how to approach tests with a positive attitude. I loved the animations in the videos, they kept me glued to the course. I also liked the way the content was presented by amazing professors.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Tamilnadu skill development corporation for sponsoring access to online courses on Coursera during the lockdown. It was immensely helpful to make productive use of the time and also to increase our skills. Many thanks to the professors and Coursera for making quality education accessible worldwide.Thank you Yours gratefullyKavya Mohan.

By Madhav

Jun 1, 2020

What I learned from this course will go a long way in my life. The course was not about tricks and hacks to learn. It was about the art of learning and how to not get frustrated when things don't go as you intended. That process is more important than the product.Dr.Barbara Oakley has a very motivating, warm, and charming personality. Her way of teaching is so visual and full of analogies and metaphors, it is like she practiced what she preached.One more bonus part of the course is that Dr.Barbara Oakley interviews some really renowned and talented people who openly share their experiences.I would highly recommend this course to anyone who is into learning and wants to retain that knowledge.

By Hajj W

Apr 8, 2021

This course offers knowledge comparable to "How To Win Friends And Influence People" in terms of power, but focused on lifelong learning. The instructors lead by example as they apply the very techniques they teach in this course, making the content of this course exceptionally easy to assimilate. At the same time, its value is not diminished: the knowledge offered by this course is applicable from elementary school all the way to graduate school and beyond, and is poised to serve its students for the rest of their careers. Due to the importance of learning in the modern world, Barbara Oakley could be the single greatest contributor toward the progress of humanity in the foreseeable future.

By Mustafa S A

Apr 28, 2020

This is the type of course that all universities or high schools should assure that their students take before any specialized courses. I hope I had this course when I was at university. I am sure it would help me a lot to achieve more than what I already did. The best thing about this course that I feel that it speaks about my inner me. It knew the tricks I did to cheat myself and how I fulfilled myself falsely without gaining the full benefits I planned to gain. It also interprets why I didn't achieve the targets I planned to achieve. Finally, I recommend this course for everybody want to well manage his life, because our lives are a big test in which we need to pass it with high grades.

By Vikrum

Apr 15, 2020

Incredible. I learnt so much in such a short amount of time. What you learn is super easy to apply and very relevant to every day life and learning. The analogies aid understanding and there are plenty of examples too. The tips are concise, well explained and helpful and I would definitely recommend this course to anyone who wishes to learn better, do better in tests, or just generally be more aware of learning methods and ways to stop procrastination etc. Learning how to learn is a beneficial course and I will be implementing the key ideas in my learning. It is also a great way to spend time (I started the course due to the Coronavirus quarantine), and is much more useful than Netflix!!

By Jason J

Oct 30, 2019

They should teach this in schools. Meta learning has been of great interest to me for the past several years and this course has offered many fresh insights and techniques I've never heard of before. What the two hosts may lack in public speaking ability they more than make up for with their broad, detailed knowledge and genuine passion for teaching others the wonderful art and science of meta learning. I bought a certificate not because I wanted to frame my completion of this course on my wall but because I felt guilty taking this course for free. Highly recommended regardless of your occupation or IQ, I honestly believe anyone can benefit from the ideas and techniques discussed herein.

By Kevin M

Apr 9, 2019

Great course. It's simple and straight to the point. This is especially valuable to anyone just entering college or currently in college. Wish I knew a lot of these tricks and hacks and the general understanding of how the brain works back when I was still grinding through 50 topics a week. As an upper 20-something, the most useful parts of this course are the videos that describe the fundamentals of how our brains work and getting through procrastination. Knowing how the diffuse mode works is HUGE. Taking rests are IMPORTANT and I never really thought that it so important. I just kind of had a "feeling" overtime. This course seriously changed my day-to-day learning. For real.