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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

75,690 ratings
21,456 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

Sep 9, 2016

This is a course which I enjoyed. It gave a good insight of the learning methodologies which we have often heard of but not given due importance. Also, the brain facts is cool :) My 5/5 to this course

Oct 22, 2017

This Course Is awesome it gave me a new look on how my brain works and that i should actually take breaks which is probably why i get frustrated. I am Excited to Put what i have learned into practice.

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551 - 575 of 10,000 Reviews for Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects

By Jenn A

Jun 10, 2021

I found the course very interesting and relatable. We weren't just given a bunch of learning tools, we delved into how our brains work around studying, chunking and memory. It was quite fascinating and the illustration bridged well with the tools provided. The instructors were engaging and easy to follow. I thoroughly enjoyed this course. After many, many years, I signed up for a Masters in Divinity. I was really concerned about my performance. I didn't have a toolkit of how to study, read texts and take notes, never mind writing papers. I left my last course a little reluctant to take another course. Thank you for restoring my faith in learning.

By Evan L D

Aug 2, 2020

Excellent course. Something like this course - basically, psychology of learning with a focus towards useful applications - should be required of all incoming freshmen at ever college. I definitely wish I had taken something like it at the beginning of my college career. There is only one thing I'd suggest to improve the course further: The male professor is obviously very uncomfortable on camera, which made me feel uncomfortable also. I'd suggest considering re-filming some of his videos after a few more practice rounds so he comes off as more relaxed and comfortable. This is nit-picky, but it did make me want to skip some of his videos at times.

By Katie D

Sep 25, 2015

This course gives you the tools you will wish you had long ago. It will help you understand the way your brain works and work with it, not against it. You'll learn new way to study, use different thinking modes, and use sleep to solidify the material you're learning. The professor uses simple mnemonic's and a lot of visual aides which make it easy to understand and remember the concepts (which in and of itself is a lesson on how to absorb materiel).She's is very personable and cool, and for me personally, struggling to enter college at 26 for the first time, hearing her say she was my age when she started and is now an engineer was very inspiring!

By Vlad B

Oct 19, 2019

It was a bittersweet experience. First of all, because now I feel not only a bunch of positive emotions — satisfaction, confidence, excitement for future learning endeavors, etc — but also deep regret. I regret that I have learned all of this only now, when I'm nearly 25, and not in school, where all this stuff should be taught. It could have prevented so much failure and suffering...

Then again, as the old saying goes, there's time for everything. I'll still make the most out of this new knowledge and whatever time I have left. Sincerest appreciations to those who created this course. It was an amazing job, really. Keep it up. The world needs it.

By Alan F G L

May 31, 2020

Thank you Barbara and Terrence! Because I have a lot of time on my hands, it took me some time to complete this course but it was certainly a great learning that I have no doubt that it will change my life completely. Now is the time to start a new stage in my life and no doubt thank you both. You are the most wholesome teachers I've had for now! And now I feel entitled to teach what I've learned in this course with other people that had before the same problems as me and others that took this course and I cannot recommend enough how useful the material in this course is. Thank you very much and thanks for teaching me for Learning how to Learn!

By Stefanie P

Nov 13, 2016

My best Coursera course so far - and probably one of the best courses I took ever. The information was really new to me (e.g. the greatest enemy to learning is procrastination - in German: "Aufschieberitis", or "start hard jumpy easy"). it was presented in a funny and easy to grasp way (I loved the zombies and the little private photos and videos from Dr. Oakley). It was extremly helpful (e.g. Anki and the Pomodoro method).

As a mother of two teenage boys I am happy to pass on what I learned to my kids.

This is a valuable and fun course. And after the course they keep you informed with regular e-mails on the topic.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

By David G A

Sep 1, 2020

This course offered me a deep view into the world of learning - now I understand much better what I have to do in order to achieve greatest accomplishments in my academical career.

I may not agree with some of the techniques they mention, and I may had already known some of them from before. However, I feel that its scientific perspective and its wise advices are very valuable for anyone who is attempting to improve their academical performance in any subject.

Finally, I really appreciate the efforts of P.Oakley and P.Sejnowski - and their team - for bringing us this fantastic and potentially life-changing course for free. Thank you very much.

By austin c

Jun 29, 2020

The best class I took over my 30 years of learning. Initially, I did not think much of the course. But I was intrigued that it was so popular. I am glad i did jump in and stay. It has improved my learning ever since. Understanding how learning is conducted 'under the hood' allows me to explore techniques i overlooked and reinforce habits I already have. Thank you for two excellent teachers. Th I challenge Coursera to elevate this course to highest level of visibility. Rather than waiting for serendipity, more learners of the world should have common awareness of this brilliant class. Thank you for the opportunity to express myself

By Shovan C

Aug 15, 2020

loved the simple progression of the course contents. The teaching style was quite simple and easy to follow... This course is suitable to be given in the first semester of every university education so students who have the intention to learn but have certain mind blocs or lack proper orientation on how to learn come out of that.Also the examples and interviews were very interesting and related to the subject matter. The usage of visuals and practice tests were intelligently placed which supported recall.I thank Professor Barbara Oakley and Professor Terrence Sejnowski for putting this together and help me make change in the way I can learn.

By Jay D

May 13, 2020

This course demonstrates some tips and techniques for learning, that you never knew. Implementing the ideas from this course will improve your learning at least 2x. One of the best things I learned from this course is that, REAL learning takes time. Don't expect from yourself to read something and remember it forever. To develop long term memory, we need spaced repetition, we need to keep our focus away from material so our mind can enter into diffused mode and do it's work in background. Metaphors are really helpful in memorising things. All these things are backed by neuroscience research. Give yourself a treat by opting in to this course.

By Wylie L

Jan 24, 2021

Hi there.

First of all, thanks to both Dr Barbara Oakley and Dr Terrence Sejnowski for developing this great course. Not only does this course help me in learning effectively and efficiently, but also explains how our brains function during learning. I learned many concepts, and here are some of them:- focused mode vs diffused mode,- short term memory vs long term memory,- fighting against procrastination,- learning techniques, such as chunking, spaced repetition, small tests, etc.I deeply encourage everyone to take this course, and you'll only regret not taking it earlier. Enjoy!

P.S. I'll be back for revision, and this is 100% for sure.

By Sapna C

Jul 8, 2020

Wow !! " Learning How to Learn " was a wonderful journey for me ,taking myself into different concepts of learning methods .I sincerely thank the whole team for their effort to share and guide us in learning and memorizing the facts.We also realized what are our procrastination's , weakness in our learning experience.

The videos were mind blowing and all the anatomical concepts were taught using metaphor and analogy,which will help us retain ideas in our mind . Thanks for providing interview sessions with some of the brilliant personality and sharing their experience.

I truly recommend others to choose this course and its worth learning.

By J

Jun 26, 2020

Hello Instructors,

This course was wonderful. It has been a long time since I attended school or any kind of formal education. This course taught me things that I never learned in school but, wish I had. Important topics included how the brain functions when learning, why we procrastinate and how to prevent it, as well as the importance of recalling material through spaced repetition and deliberate practice. As someone who wants to continue learning and assist my family with learning this course introduced ideas that I will use daily and pass on to my children. Thank you so much for taking the time to produce this course.

Best wishes, Joe P.

By Ramachandran C

Apr 12, 2020

I really enjoyed taking this course. The course content was very engaging. Dr. Oakley's delivery was very lively and kept me thoroughly interested in the lectures. I also learned a lot from the optional interviews, particularly the ones related to language learning, memory, and the humanities. I am confident that I will be able to apply the lessons in this course not just for learning better but also for leading a more productive life in general. This course has taught me how I can adopt a learning attitude in anything I do and engage more fruitfully with whatever I do. I am sure I will keep revisiting portions of this course in the future.

By Luiz R T C

Feb 11, 2019

The course allowed me a great reflection on how I have been learning what I want to learn. Such reflection, accompanied by new studies on the functioning of the brain, has made me change my study habits, for example, in language studies (English and French) and music, facilitating better memorization and understanding of languages. You, Dr Barbara and Dr Terence, are to be congratulated for the excellent didactics and simplicity in teaching a very complex subject, for the selected texts and the interviews that stimulated me a lot in the conduct of my daily life. Congratulations to the Coursera team for having provided this course. Thankful!

By Elliott B

Oct 3, 2018

My middle-aged eyes have been opened, thank you. I have often thought myself academically inadequate by having failed most of my school life, particularly panicking on tests, but this course has shown me, as well as the concept of Divergent Thinking, that I simply never had the tools to use my brain and body more effectively. These techniques and the knowledge should be taught to children and up, not later in life (I am aiming this at schools in general). At one point during this course I cried, because I was made to feel not a failure, but a person with the potential and ability to succeed if I simply change my attitude. Thank you so much.

By Sam M

Mar 23, 2020

In my little experience of MOOCs, one of the best I've come across.

The great things about this course is that it unlocks 'keys' that will help you in learning any topics and in life in general.

I think that's one more reason why it ranks among the best.

The use of videos, reading materials and other activities is well 'balanced'.

There is also a great use of metaphors and illustrations. Emphasis is on making things simple and accessible, without 'dumbing down'.

I'd recommend this course to anyone.

I have actually recommended the Spanish and French version to 2 people close to me; as it will be accessible to them in a language they understand.

By Deleted A

Aug 17, 2015

As someone who has only ever know subpar public schooling, poor parental involvement during formative years, and the old cram, regurgitate, repeat, study strategy, I cannot stress the amount of change in my educational paradigm that has blossomed forth because of this course. Learning everything I should have known all along including study habits, tips for procrastination, and learning how my own mind works are only a few of the tools that I will use for the rest of my life. I preach the Coursera word whenever I get the chance evangelizing anyone who will listen, and have nothing but appreciation for the entire Learning How to Learn team.

By Mark A

Apr 9, 2018

What a truly wonderful course about learning. Barbara and the rest of the presenters are fantastic. The course gathers together some of the most knowledgeable minds in the world to help explain how to improve the way you learn. The course is backed up by scientific studies and exudes quality in every way. I've learnt more about learning how to learn in this short course than i have in my entire life to date, if only this had been taught during my early education. I am already work out how I can teach the concepts and techniques to my young children so they will have these amazing skills when they start their education. Thank you so much.

By Kateryna D

Jul 9, 2017

The best course ever! Really helpful and easy to understand. I highly recommend it for all people who want to understand how their brain works and how to make their study efforts more efficient. The course is also really useful not only for studying but in career - here is a lot of tips&tricks which help in everyday life and work.

To my mind the best is not only to take this course but also read books by Barbara Oakley and watch the second course Mindshift on Coursera. Part of material would be the same but that is even for good - you constantly repeat the most important parts of knowledge and at the same time get a lot of extra material.

By Javier C C

Oct 23, 2016

This is a great course for everyone, I am a 28 year old Industrial and Systems Engineer about to start an MBA program in one of the most recognized Universities in Europe, and I am sure the tips and tricks taught in this course by Barbara and Terry will be of great help for this new endevour and the rest of my life without a doubt. I recommend this course to anyone who wants to keep learning anything the rest of their lives! This should be the very first thing teachers teach in school! I´ve been learning wrong all of my life. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and keep up the good work! Best Regards. JCC

By Himanshu S

Sep 19, 2020

Hello Readers,

This is really a Master Class Piece ...."A work with great precision and perfectly executed. This is so much insightful that i recommend this for all, specially the people who wants to know enjoy learning.

I really want to thanks each and everyone, who is associated in making this, from the bottom of my heart for being there, with small words i can say that "YOU CANNOT EVEN IMAGINE UNLESS YOU ACTUALLY ENJOY THE PROCESS GIVEN IN THE COURSE AND ONCE YOU DEVELOP THE HABIT OF ENJOYING THE PROCESS, THERE WILL NOT BE ANY PRODUCT OR SUBJECT YOU CANNOT MASTER ........HAPPY LEARNING !

Thankyou once again !!!

Always Grateful / Himanshu

By Mohd S A S S

Sep 29, 2019

It is a good course. Highly recommended for High-school and college students for sure. However, you can take the course at any point in your life and benefit from the learning tips and insights. I had known some of the techniques before through other books and resources I had read in my school years, but it was nice to find all the information packaged so neatly and consume it in an organized fashion. It helps to remember the materials and apply it. And ofcourse there were many more new insights and sources of inspiration from the course. This is knowledge that you can then pass on to your family, friends and colleagues. Happy learning!

By Nikolay K

Apr 14, 2016

Thank you Terrence and Barbara! Your course was so enjoyable that I passed it in less than 3 days. That's how good it is.

As the English say: "The more you study, the more you know. The more you know, the more you forget. The more you forget, the less you know. So why study?"

Your course helpes to overcome this vicious practice by using focused & diffused thinking, chunking, mnemonics, tests technique. I'll use them for passing Google AdWords exam.

I am convinced that real democracy starts when you start to learn and apply your knowledge into practice for the sake of future generations. Thanks for all!

Nikolay Kochnev, from Russia with love

By Iwan K

Feb 15, 2021

Thank you very much to the Coursera for giving me the opportunity to study in the How to learn learning course. I am very excited and grateful to be able to take this course because it can support my career and provide a lot of experience for me, especially regarding how to learn properly and correctly. I really appreciate the tutors who have provided their knowledge, this course is extraordinary for me because the material presented is very relevant and easy to understand, not only for students but non-students can learn this specialty because learning applies to everyone and everything can be found only study in this course thank you