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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

76,201 ratings
21,579 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

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.

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).

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726 - 750 of 10,000 Reviews for Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects


Apr 21, 2021

I recommend this course to anyone, mostly to high school students. Why, math is a subject that most of them say hate or don't understand; however, Dr. Barbara Oakley's testimony is on of inspiration and motivation. I got through the course in order to motivate my daughter but...guess what? - I learned a lot myself. So I bought the book, "A Mind for Numbers" along with the Audio, same with, "Learning How to Learn" and "Mindshift." Reason for that, I recommend it to every parent I know and friends too and is always good to have the book as a good reference material.

By Ivan C C I

Oct 4, 2020

I love the course, I am a procrastinative person but with studying through the course I realized I could do so much more. This process wasn't boring, in fact it was made easy! It was like learning something you're interested in, and I wasn't even all too interested in the beginning. It made me feel (and know!) what it's like to learn and gave me things and techniques to look out for in my study habits. Not only in studying in academe but in learning in life, by having this beautifully made 'manual' to the brain I am thankful. Cheers to a brighter fulfilled future!

By Maninder S

Apr 11, 2020

First and foremost, Thanks to Barb Oakley, Terry Sejnowski and the team for creating such a wonderful course.

This is the first course that i've completed on Coursera. It has completely changed my mindset and how i approach my life day to day. This course may seem like it's just useful if you are preparing for a test, but it's much more than that. You'd have different techniques to tackle out some fundamental problems, like Procrastination, Lack of interest in new things, afraid of new areas be it in your current field or a new career altogether.

Highly recommended.

By See Y C

Jan 18, 2018

This course is condensed in such a way, with amazing visual cues and guides, that it is very easy to understand and commit to memory. The videos are short enough, such that it is very easy to schedule breaks inbetween. It is also such that each video is neither too long or too short, fitting the length of one's attention span. Overall, the attention to detail, both within and outside the contents of the course (i.e the content itself and the way it is structured) is masterfully developed for easy understanding. The course is amazing and I'd recommend it to anyone.

By Revol R

Oct 27, 2015

C'est le cours qu'on devrait suivre avant tout autre chose. Des vidéos claires (sous titrées pour les non anglophones), dans un format compact, des astuces pour l'apprentissage et la mémorisation tellement évidentes au final quand on y pense, mais tellement efficace.

That's the course we should complete before anything else. Clear videos (subtitled for non english speaking people), un a compact form, tips & tricks for learning and memory which are so obvious finally where we look back at them, but so usefull.

Bravo and thank you very much for publishing this MOOC.

By Michael G

Oct 15, 2017

Wow! This course came just at the right time in my life. Unemployed and doubting my own self-confidence, I had internalized all my failures as innate reflections of who I am––a failure. This course taught me (and in some points, re-taught me) the neuroscience, psychology and physiology of how human leverage their greatest evolutionary advantage, learning. Having completed this course, I've regained much of my self-confidence, and I am, once again, ready to get back out in the world, now knowing, I am capable, with hard work and perseverance, of learning anything.

By Jamelah M

Jun 8, 2017

I love how friendly Dr. Oakley appears to be. She is always so excited about the material it automatically makes me more interested in what she has to say. I think sharing her background and struggles made her down-to-earth and made me feel like if she can do it I can do it too. Many professors act as if they are high and mighty and that you could never be as intelligent as they are. Dr. Oakley showed me through her personal story and her teaching material that if I use the tips and techniques I've learned through both of her courses I can truly learn ANYTHING!!!


Sep 21, 2016

Thanks to Dr. Barbara Oakley and Dr. Terry Sejnowski for this amazing course.

This course was very challenging for me because I haven't studied for 20 years and it was my first english specific course with an anglophone university ...

You definitively changed my way of thinking about learning and my life thanks to all these mental tools...

learning how the brain works, how to built more neurons and to strenghten them was amazing... I discovered Neuroscience and I love it.

Learning has become for me an evidence because it opens our mind ...

So thank you very much :-)

By Margarita G

May 7, 2021

I took this course on May 2021.I think it's a great MOOC: the information is structured very carefully, each video is helpful, you can learn 1-2 hours a day and do everything in time.Mentors always cheer you up, and there's plenty of fellow learners you can speak with.I personally felt an everyday craving to sit and learn - it's so exciting to discover how your brain works!Course provide a giant amount of additional information so you can deepen into subjects you more interested in.I really started to tackle procrastination and fear of learning more effectively.

By Orian W

Jan 14, 2021

The course is beneficial and relevant to these days that we humans are overwhelmed with so much from the world we are living. People like me lacks in understanding how our brain works which led us to our inability to fully explore our potentials in the different facets of our lives. I truly appreciate everything that was taught and presented here in this course, and I will try my best to put into practice and be mindful of the relevance of learning and how the mind works. Taking this course will make you realize how much of it is applicable in our everyday life.

By Kyle C

Jul 28, 2018

I wish I could have taken this course at the beginning of high school. While I always did well enough in school, part of me truly believed there were some things I just couldn't do well because I didn't "get" them. This course set me straight. Learning takes time and practice - the people we think are the "smartest" or "most successful" are often the ones who work hard and focus on doing better. It sounds cliché, but I realized upon completing this course that my own fear of failure has prevented me from learning some really hard (and often meaningful) subjects.

By Louise E

Mar 27, 2017

This is a great course that you can apply to a broad number of things. From learning a new hobby, to acing an exam. I've been slowly applying what I've learned even during taking the course. I know understand my brain better, and see the cues of procrastination and have been better at avoiding them—but still fall into the trap. I feel like a much more functional human being just from taking this course, and have already gotten over a work slump that I having trouble with (a difficult project that I've been putting off was completed by doing the Pomodoro Method.)

By Tripta B

Aug 10, 2020

It has been a wonderful experience learning about the learning processes. One can easily see the amount of work done behind to get all these ideas together. The instructors both were highly dedicated to this work and I can see there efforts through the massive amount of research papers reviewed while forming this course materials. I found the course to be very helpful in changing my perspective on the process of learning and cannot thank enough for including the interviews of such highly ambitious different thinking peoples. Thank you for preparing this course.

By venkatesh m

May 23, 2020

I am very happy to share my feelings about this course, before this course I have my own methods of reading and preparing in that some are helpful and most of them are not, after completion of the course I have understood the structerd way of learning. How foucused mode and diffused modes of thingking works. The interviews with some of great minds also inspires me a lot.

Not but not the least Thaks to Dr. Barbara Okley and Dr. Terrence Sejnowski for providing such a wonderful and helpful lecture series. Finaly thanks to the total team of Learnig How to Learn...

By Rohan P

Jun 29, 2017

This was an amazing course, that not only help deepen my understanding of the brain, but also my own brain and how I work. It's hard to really delve into graduate level course work, especially in a high stakes field like medicine. As I go through medical school, I realize that I am doing well to get A's or B's on my exams. But that isn't helping me fully deepen my knowledge. I'm really good at just recall. But this course helped me understand how to really improve my memory and my understanding of a subject, and not just regurgitate the information on an exam.

By Salman Y

Jul 28, 2021

Great course. It gives a better understanding of how the brain works and how much great equipment is the brain we have. the techniques to study better, memorize better and remove procrastination are very helpful; especially the diffused/focused mode part and the Pomodoro. I really love this course. I believe I'll surely use the technique taught in this course throughout my life. Last but not least the instructors are great, very easy to understand their flow of language and ideas. Thanks to the whole team for bringing this great course to us. Happy Learning!

By Preetika K

Oct 31, 2020

This was hands down one of the best courses I have ever done. Do not hesitate, I am practically begging you to do this course! The course was so interesting and had my attention throughout. I wish this content was taught to students early on as it makes a world of a difference knowing how you can learn better, not only academically but also in general life. I would like to wholeheartedly thank the instructors of this course, it wouldn't have been the same with anyone else. The quirky little edits and details in quiz questions made the course that much better.

By linnea S

Apr 9, 2020

Thank you SO MUCH ! This has been GREAT! I have learned so much about myself and my former destructive habits. With the insights from this course, I'm now starting to build up new skills that I have been dreaming of for years. Instead of blacking out when I meet obstacles or challenges, I move forward overcome them - and incredibly GROW STONGER! This course has served me not only with power study skills, but as way to understand myself and how to work with my competences in a more enjoyable and creative way. This course has changed my F''' lyfe. You rock BARB

By Pablo

Sep 7, 2018

This was one of the best courses I've ever had here, on Coursera. I could think out of the box and also help my students to achieve different ways of studying English. I saw different approaches in learning tough subjects that I study by my own, and I also shared with my students to help them how to study, following the Hard start - jump to easy method; the benefits of sleeping to learn better; the chunk formation, and other powerful tools you'd shared in this course. Thanks Dr. Barbara Oakley and Dr. Terrence Sejnowski and all the team that made this course.

By Alejandro G

Oct 23, 2017

I wish I had taken this course when I started school. Put in better words an adequate version based on age and grade of study. This is definitely something that has to be taught to students in some degree to provide them with tools on how to learn and study better.That would take most of any negative connotation related to school, homework, testing and studying. Not only teaching and learning would be better and easier but also the level of performance would be astronomically greater.Hands down one of the best courses I've taken so far!! strongly recommended!

By Carlos E P V

Apr 25, 2017

Make yourself a favor, just take the course. I have done a lot of the opposite of what I should have done. Barbara Oakley is so nice to explain to you, every video is easy to muster and follow. The course is not solely study techniques in the conventional form, the most valuable parts are how our brain solves problems and the basic chemistry that affects it. I enjoyed, I have not finished watching the optional videos but I will and even bought the book. Definitely will review it often or as Dr Barbara said "try to recall" big parts of it and learn it deeply.

By Almyn C A

Jul 24, 2020

This is an amazing course. While deceptively short, it holds a wealth of information about learning and the science behind it. What I like the most are the optional videos and readings. I think half the time I spent on this course was spent reading blogs, articles, scientific journal articles, and reading video transcripts from optional resources. While some of the tips seemed to me, at first, pedantic and repetitive, learning the science behind them instilled in me new appreciation for them. This course was also a great reminder why I truly enjoy learning.

By Ramon M

May 11, 2019

Excellent course. Being 78, I have developed during the years, mainly by trial and error, some learning techniques.

It is very rewarding to find out the reasons why some work, and learn many other, some counterintuitive, ways of improving concentration, avoid procrastination, and get better at passing tests.

Course is very clearly explained, has ample bibligraphy to further develop any subject of particular interest, and presents interviews with people who have either developed or succeeding in applying these techniques in defferent fields.

Highly recommended

By Maribeth C Y

Sep 28, 2016

This is a marvelous course. Lectures sent my enthusiasm into deeper learning at additional resources many time. I have recommended the course to peers (retired) and to parents of struggling youth, as well as to folks who need to master new skills. Oakley is fantastic and so down-to-earth and real. Never enjoyed a course more, and will probably go thru it again to refresh periodically. Highly recommended for anyone to wants to get a handle on the pragmatic steps to getting something into your head! Let Oakley take you by the hand, you won't regret the time.

By Abdulrahman A

Sep 3, 2018

Just finished the course and I'm very impressed. I came to the conclusion that I had many pits in learning. This course offered me the opportunity to pinpoint these obstacles. It further widened my insight into what learning is all about and how to maximize benefit from learning any topic. Throughout the course, I've done many tasks that either involve me learning new material or ticking off some points off my to-do list. To my surprise, I was able to finish off many tasks and learn in a non labored and efficient way. Learning became rather interesting!!!