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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential by McMaster University

12,634 ratings

About the Course

Mindshift is designed to help boost your career and life in today’s fast-paced learning environment. Whatever your age or stage, Mindshift teaches you essentials such as how to get the most out of online learning and MOOCs, how to seek out and work with mentors, the secrets to avoiding career ruts (and catastrophes) and general ruts in life, and insights such as the value of selective ignorance over general competence. We’ll provide practical insights from science about how to learn and change effectively even in maturity, and we’ll build on what you already know to take your life’s learning in fantastic new directions. This course is designed to show you how to look at what you’re learning, and your place in what’s unfolding in the society around you, so you can be what you want to be, given the real world constraints that life puts on us all. You’ll see that by using certain mental tools and insights, you can learn and do more—far more—than you might have ever dreamed! This course can be taken independent of, concurrent with, or subsequent to, its companion course, Learning How to Learn. (Mindshift is more career focused, and Learning How to Learn is more learning focused.)...

Top reviews


Jun 21, 2020

I enjoyed this MOOC. It is very well-done and clearly covers the topics of mindshifting along with career advancement. Also--good illustrations and visuals/sounds which assist in the learning process.


Aug 26, 2020

I enjoyed this course very much. I am 64-years-old and this course taught me that you can learn anything new no matter what age you are. I am now broadening my passions and learning is a lot more fun.

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1 - 25 of 3,615 Reviews for Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential

By Mary S A

Apr 4, 2018

This is the first course I take under the topic Mindshift. As a non-native speaker of English I found the course easy to understand. The course has covered many concepts that meant a lot to me, which I took time to analyse and deeply think about and relate to events in my life. I have put serious effort to try to memorize them. Here are some:

- The hiker learning style;

- Getting actively engaged into what I am trying to learn: testing myself is a way, using the new information is another;

- Paradigm Shift;

- Broaden my passion rather than following it;

- Focused attention exercises help to increase focusing abilities;

- Activities during my day should vibrate between mental and physical;

- Plan to fight procrastination by: Increasing the expectancy of success and reward, increasing the value and pleasantness of what I am doing, decreasing impulsiveness and distraction;

- Conceptual understanding + memorizing = solid chunks;

- Put a label (a word) on a feeling to start thinking logically about it, then try to put it in a positive frame;

- Take a decision --> define my goal/goals --> choose people who will help me achieve that;

- The environment surrounding me has a huge influence on me --> psychological safety --> increase serotonin;

- T/п: two legs are more stable than one --> develop new skills: 6 months =~ 6 years: skill development curve is logarithmic not linear;

- Approaches of career shifting: dabble, double life, contrarian;

- Selective ignorance is necessary while developing a new skill;

- Persistence and flexibility are essential in learning anything;

- There are 3 important hormones that play a role in learning process: dopamin which helps learn new skills, serotonin that helps form social bonds and noradrenaline that helps us to avoid danger;

- Learning new things help us form new neurons and synapses and requires getting out of comfort zone;

- Mentors play a huge role in life;

- Reading 20 mins a day help me become smarter and healthier;

- Emotional and cognitive intelligence are equally important;

- For things to change --> I have to change --> my thoughts and capabilities;

- Luck = preparation + opportunity + action;

- When you take action --> you get results: if they are positive then you have succeeded and if they are negative you will learn a lot from the experience --> the worst thing is to do nothing;

- Problems can be seen as opportunities;

- Mindshifting = reevaluating relations in my life: cut negative ones, build new short-term ones to achieve short-term goals, build long-term ones to collaborate and achieve long-term goals;

- Skills that I gain from one field can be used in other fields --> creativity.

I hope this abstract will be helpful.

Good luck!

By Melissa B

May 26, 2017

I really like this teaching duo. I want to take more classes from them and continue learning how to learn. Simple concepts combined with scientific explanations made this a very fun class to learn.

By Leon F V

May 1, 2020

I enjoyed this MOOC. It is very well-done and clearly covers the topics of mindshifting along with career advancement. Also--good illustrations and visuals/sounds which assist in the learning process.

By Sanyam S

Apr 5, 2020

To be honest, I was quite impressed by Barbara, Terry and their team after I finished Learning How to learn. So I decided to try this course in continuation and I am really happy that I took this course. This course had covered so many aspects of mind-shift, career change, and learning in a very easy to understand way. I learned about second-skilling, working memory, procrastination and how to cope with the emotional crisis. This course is a must for someone who wants to have a resilient and a great career. I am glad that I am only 21 and before starting working as a software engineer I have known so much about ways and tricks that can facilitate your learning, about learning a skill other than your discipline. The quizzes and discussion forums are a great place to test and share your knowledge. Thanks to everyone who made this course and started people believe that change can be possible anywhere, any time and at any age.

By Stalvio N

Jan 18, 2018

Thank you Barbara. It was really enjoyable trip with you in this course. I have found many new learning techniques. Your positive behavior was very encouraging for me to begin a new list of my life!


Aug 26, 2020

I enjoyed this course very much. I am 64-years-old and this course taught me that you can learn anything new no matter what age you are. I am now broadening my passions and learning is a lot more fun.

By Sehresh M

Jun 22, 2020

I enjoyed this MOOC. It is very well-done and clearly covers the topics of mindshifting along with career advancement. Also--good illustrations and visuals/sounds which assist in the learning process.

By Seshiru H

Mar 18, 2018

‎I expected that I could learn something new from this course, but I found that there is just the same things taught in this course that there is in 'MOOC Learning how to learn'. As Prof. Oakley mentioned, you shouldn't learn something you've understood. It's a bad thing called "overlearning" since it would make me think that I can resolve any problem by what this course taught, but it isn't the case.

By Denise C I

Oct 31, 2020

Great course! This is a lot more general than Learning about Learning but is also useful nonetheless. I like the focus on keeping positive and being confident in your potential despite our weaknesses.

By Sébastien L

Mar 5, 2019

This course is a great follow-up to "Learning How to Learn". It is less focused on practical advice and more on "life advice". On the practical side, I found memory tricks presented by Nelson Dellis to be very useful. All the theory behind how procrastination works was also enlightening. I liked very much the interview with entrepreneur Adam Khoo who gave profound advice and served as a great example of someone who can start from nothing and learn to reach the highest level. All the advice given about career was spot on: general competence vs selective ignorance; read, read and read again to keep shining in your field; broaden your passions; get a mentor... Everything is applicable and motivating. Well done!

By Thomas M

Feb 12, 2018

I really enjoyed the first course, Learn 2Learn. The female professor is great but the boring old guy should have been kicked out of the course, as he do not provide anything of value for the course.

By Guido B

Sep 3, 2019

This course is very light, it provides some useful tips (and some others on which I don't agree), but no specific tool or technique to apply in learning. The videos about MOOC making may be helpful for those who intend to produce a MOOC (not me), but they are useless for the majority of students. I have done a lot of MOOCs since 2012 on Coursera, and I noticed a tendency to reduce both duration (from 8 or even 12 weeks to 4 or so) and content.

By Rodolfo V R

Apr 5, 2020

Mindshift is worth your time. It's an extension of previously taught concepts in Learn how to learn, though it's inherently less impactful than its predecessor. I have taken learning how to learn and it was great and a huge help. Mindshift is also very useful. I missed though the professional literature and waiting for totally new material, more in the Mindshift direction.

This course is simpler, easy to follow and complete. It is a light course that won't take much of your time and will give good insights and ideas. The visuals are more engaging, and the dialogues are clearer. Barbara definitely makes the learning process stress-free and leisurely. Barbara is impossible not to pay attention to, and Terence Sejnowski is giving you the impression that you “actually understand neuropsychology.

As expected, the content practical, and worthwhile, and it also helps as a review of the learnings from the first MOOC; if you haven't finished "Learning How to Learn", please do so before starting "Mindshift". You won't regret it. My advice to the MOOC makers would be to give more background literature and include more new material, focus more on Mindshift. I had so much fun, and I loved it. Thank you for providing people this great opportunity and help. I highly recommend this course.

By Daniel O

Jan 16, 2020

Absolutely fantastic course by all standard. My hidden potentials were really unlocked, I got to understand myself and how best to understand others and help them to unlock their potentials as well

By Marta G

Jun 5, 2017

Great course, motivated me to think of what I want to do, and I actually got an idea just before completing the course, which I am putting into action now! I am motivated to learn more, thank you!

By Max L

Jun 2, 2017

Much worse than "Learning how to learn": there are too many effects in videos with too little actual content. The same ideas repeated again and again and again, until you can't hear them anymore :).

By Aleksandar J

Jan 24, 2019

Great course, I feel like there's been a lot of thought about making it, and the ideas are represented in a very clear fashion, in a easily digestible manner. The one thing I would turn down a knotch is animation within videos. The instructors even mention this at one point, that having an instructor look like he/she is about to jump at you should activate the same neural pathways that detect danger, so the goal is to have the learner activated more. To me, this approach was very aggressive at some points and made me feel irritated, hence the -1 star.

By Luci T

Jan 20, 2020

While there was some value in this, personally I found "Learning How To Learn" by the same creators to be more useful than Mindshift; there is a lot of overlap between these two courses, and I didn't feel that Mindshift had enough new relevant material. The quizzes felt a bit superficial and tick-box rather than being meaningful to my learning.

I have also read the book "Mindshift" and it had some really good case studies that brought the message home, but these weren't really included in the course. While there were some very brief 'testimonial' style clips from some of these people within this course, they didn't do their stories or insights justice. So my recommendation would be to do the "Learning How To Learn" course and read the Mindshift book (rather than doing the Mindshift course).

By Dorothy H

Sep 21, 2017

Not much new in this one and a bit too much patting of oneself on the back for the last one. Don't expect from Mindshift what you got from Learning how to Learn. It's just riding the wave in order to sell another book, without much new value added.

But if you would like a selective review, it's nice enough for that.

By Deleted A

Aug 9, 2019

This course is really good. It has taught/reminded me of effective learning techniques and motivated me to adopt a learning lifestyle. The presenters are fantastic in terms of their knowledge and enthusiasm. The duration and content is just right for me.Overall it was one of the best and most enjoyable courses that I've done.

By Nidia V

Aug 5, 2019

Thank you for devising a more flexible and entertaining way to learn!

By Ricardo

Jun 8, 2018

This course is just fine if you want to spend some relaxed time watching some videos or listening to some general advice on career choice and how to manage your learning process and general life.It's quite easy to pass the assessments and doesn't have much difficulty.I must say, as well, that the teacher Barbara Oakley is pretty nice and that she seems to love what she does and does a great job at presenting the lessons and you feel at ease and very comfortable listening to her, which is always welcome.

By Trixy L

Jan 30, 2018

The information is only the tip of the iceberg of what this course has to offer. Inspiration and motivation to go out there and learn and dream is at the true lesson here. The instructors teach with a contagious passion for learning and creativity. I left the course not only wanting to learn and change my life, but knowing that I was capable and able of doing both.

By Default U

Aug 3, 2019

A must course for every lifelong learner irrespective of his/er domain!!!

By Mohamed N A H

Mar 16, 2020

This course is really an eye-opener. It shows you aspects of thinking you never thought of before and guides you to different modes of evaluating your life and moving forward through scientifically proven steps which will eventually lead to your personal development if it was applied correctly by you.

I truly recommend this MOOC for anyone willing to improve his life either personally or professionally or at least want to rearrange his messy life and turn it to a more meaningful one.

One last thing, anyone wants to take this course should keep in mind some critical points:-

first of all, Massive changes don't occur overnight, it takes self-discipline, willpower, and repetition.

secondly, you shouldn't upset yourself if you failed at first as it's very normal

Finally, I ask you not to try to cheat in any way as this won't harm anyone but you and instead try hard to genuinely benefit from this priceless information provided in this course