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

12,685 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


Aug 13, 2021

A great course for learners to know more about how to learn and give them a fresh perspective about learning and being successful in life. A great sequel after the renowned MOOC Learning How to Learn.


Apr 30, 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.

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326 - 350 of 3,625 Reviews for Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential

By tousif d

Sep 16, 2017

The course basically revises the Learn how to learn earlier course with extra learning on the MOOC which is really a off topic for this subject and additional points on the career front which are really well thought off. Overall, I like the earlier course "Learn how to learn" more than this but definitely I got some good points from this course too which I would like to think and follow.

By Lerrick S

Jun 12, 2017

This course was useful. I felt that this should rather have been an update to the course Learning how to learn instead of being a separate course. I would recommend that this be completed only after doing Learning how to learn.


Jun 2, 2018

Have the feeling most of this MOOC is a simple repeat of the (great) first MOOC on which it is based, "Learning how to learn". Much less added value, except for the great optional videos from Nelson Dellis

By Thomas L

Jul 22, 2017

Well executed MOOC but more appropriate for students who are starting their university education of careers. I found some aspects new and interesting too. But I expected something different from the title.

By Mário M M

May 14, 2017

Simpler then the previous one. Sometimes to simpler. Not enough new thoughts or approaches. But Bar's dedication is commendable and the memory tips are welcome

By Mostafa Y

May 6, 2017

Thank you for such great course , can't wait for the productivity 101 MOOC that you mentioned in one of your videos .

By Yazan Z

Jan 18, 2020

a lot of "bro science" at this course, i don't think this should be on Coursera! it is shallow articles that is located on one place!

for example: Barbara suggests that mindfulness meditation may impair creativity despite all the research about this subject! i think it is because the researches contradicts her own explanation for creativity and the diffuse mode thing!

By A. N

Mar 24, 2018

Since I've taken the Learning How to Learn course first, I find this course rather repetitive most of the time.

By Alexander R

May 25, 2020

Don't get me wrong, the information presented in the course may be very good. However, there are constantly visual and sound animations that distract me from focussing to learn something all the time. After every sentence - and sometimes even within a sentence - the position of the lecturer changes and the constantly used effects ruin the whole course for me. Even when I close my eyes and try to concentrate on the content, the sound distractions are too distractive as well. So, all the material can also be found online elsewhere presented in a much better way. Furthermore, I also took the famous Negotiation course on Coursera: That course is wonderfully structured, each video starts with a short introduction where we are at in the course, and each videos stops with a short bottom line with the most important facts to learn from the relevant video. All it takes is a professor who sits down and speaks precisely without any distractions so that you can fully focus and learn the content. I find it very surprising that a mooc about learning fails to deliver the same experience, although the course lecturers put in a lot of work and are very good content-wise. But because of the distractions, I stopped this course after 45 minutes.

By Dr. B N

Jul 26, 2020

Disappointed. So much misinformation in such a small course.

There are people who could gain confidence from watching this, but it's not for you if what you need is help with understanding a new concept.

When the course undermines the importance of conceptual understanding as a bad western habit, you can't expect it to promote your understanding.

While hormones and neurotransmitters are important factors when it comes to brain function, the basic anatomy and developmental history influence it to a much higher degree. This basic understanding is something that you would expect from a course like this. If you think your child has some learning trouble, don't judge based on this, take him/her to a paediatrician and asses them properly.

By Budi S

Aug 26, 2021

MOOC transformed my life and this course is the mother of all MOOCs. Not to mention, bonus videos from Nelson Dellis are perfect complement for this course, making it into one of the most fun & enjoyable courses.

Note: intentionally put 1-star rating, so that people who want to look at negative opinions are misled into reading positive review from me

By Joyce T

Jan 4, 2019

Quizzes should be OPTIONAL, particularly for those of us who are participating purely for personal enrichment and enjoyment. This has turned into a nightmare rather than a pleasure and that's unacceptable.

By Deleted A

Apr 19, 2020

by mistakenly i have register this courser


Jul 8, 2020

Do not Receive Honors Certificate

By easy L A c

Oct 10, 2020

Contains not good

By Srishti S

May 4, 2020

I was going through a very tough time in my career. I was facing constant failures and had fallen completely in the trap of stress, anxiety and depression. I had lost track of how to learn and make significant changes in my behaviour to alter the faulty outcomes.

Then I came across this course by Barbara and Terry of Mindshift.

It told me step by step that my slow learning abilities can be a boon if utilised strategically. I got to know how my hiker brain be used to understand the concepts in more depth. How changing my career from one field to another empowers me to think creatively and maybe lead to a Paradigm shift. I got to know about various learning techniques like chunking, mastery learning, deliberate practice and a bit of memorisation.

I suffer from major anxiety issue while studying but Barbara told me that stress is inevitable but by changing my perspective, identifying my negative distortions, labeling them and positively re-framing my negative thoughts can go a long way in developing a more realistic and rational outlook.

At last, from Terry I learnt how important it is to read books from not only our domain of work but also of other areas to help us develop a wide-ranging metaphors. This differentiates us from the general public and aids in our career enhancement.

Her explanation of Diffused and Focused thinking is very practical for me to use whenever I think my mind is wandering off way while studying.

There are a few emerging fields which are changing our world at a very fast rate. Deep Learning, Big Data Analytics and artificial intelligence. These fields are causing disruptions at such a great magnitude that it is unavoidable. So it is better to try your hands in them and gain some level of knowledge about it.

I am very thankful to both of them for giving me the confidence that if I keep a positive reframing of my thoughts, approach the challenges with the idea that I have enough potential to do it and even more. The new learning techniques to gain mastery of a subject is making me feel positive that if I use it now, I can change the old outcomes I used to get after my poor studying techniques.

Also, I would like to thank Coursera to offer this wonderful course for free for students like me during this global pandemic. It has completely opened a new horizon for me of learning in the world of MOOCs.

After this course I am going on in my life with a positive mindshift!

By Muhammed T G

Oct 19, 2023

After completing the course Learning How to Learn by the same instructors, at first I had thought that this course wouldn't have the same effect on me in terms of acquiring new insights and learning new information. However, I was wrong, completely wrong. Learning how to learn is a fundamental skill, but believing in yourself is the foundation to build upon. And this occurs not by watching some people saying motivational, cool phrases to fool yourself, but by making things be based on scientific approaches. Apart from that, I always find it beneficial to learn about our brain and this course provides that as in the other course, Learning How to Learn. Even though the quality of the videos are not much comparable to average YouTube videos in terms of editing and graphics, they are able to convey the information by using powerful metaphors and analogies which is the more important thing to care about in my opinion. Lastly, I want to thank everyone who contributed to prepare this course, especially Dr. Barbara Oakley and Dr. Terry Sejnowski, and will be waiting for more courses from them :)

By Neetika D

Jun 3, 2020

I thank Dr. Barbara Oakley for creating and teaching this course. She is really a best experienced and effective instructor. She has worked hard to bring all the knowledge/techniques about "how to learn" from all over the world. I can truly see her dedication in preparing this course and in presenting "Mindshift" course. Also, thanks to Dr. Terrence Sejnowski for bringing his knowledge of neuroscience and facts on brain behaviors to this course. Thank you to all other presenters who shared their valuable insights, perspectives, and skills.

This course has cleared my misconceptions about how to learn like; memorization is ok if you understand the concept, active learning by living the subject, reason for learning forever, passions and hobbies can be broadened, and many more.

I was always passionate about learning, but hesitated, thinking it's too late and what's the use. I tried several time before but gave up every time. Now, because of this course my mind has really shifted with greater reason and confidence that I need to learn, I can learn, and I know it how!

Thank you!

By Alishia Y

Oct 24, 2023

I love this course and also, "Learning How To Learn." I highly recommend anyone and everyone to take both of them. These courses have aided me in learning effectively while growing in my educational journey, tricks and important tools to use when dealing with my negative mindset, correcting the bad habit of procrastination, having an active and creative mind for the rest of my life. The course is presented in a way that encourages the ablity to process & digest the information given to us and also it is retained and easily recalled without much struggle. I'm so thankful for this course as my 1st MOOC! All the valuable information in these courses I have been actively applying to my life. Everything has changed for me not only in the educational process but as well as my own personal life. I wish that this course was shown in elementary schools so it can alter and better teach our young children how to learn the effective way, how to change bad habits into a positive form for personal growth and advancement. It could really change many young lives.

By Dr.T.Senthil

Aug 17, 2020

This Course is definitely an important course for all learners irrespective of the boundaries like nation ,language,culture ,age and academic accomplishments.The learner can be graduate or not and no prerequisite is needed to understand the concepts introduced in this course. The author Dr.Barbara Oakley explained the complex concepts with simple understandable manner with interactive lecture materials. The learners definitely keep the concepts and implement in day to day life ,introduced by the Dr.Barbara Oakley. She can be the virtual mentor for all the participants of the Mindshift course,guiding in the planning of their career goals. The another author Dr.Terrence Sejnowski also introduces basic concepts about neuro science in learning style that entirely new to the participants. I thank the authors for presenting very wonderful and deep thinkable course through Coursera MOOC platform. Definitely this course will have impact in the participants for becoming good learner and good reader also.Thanks

By Jayabrata D

Apr 27, 2020

In week 1 of this course, I was hoping to overcome certain challenges such as learning different subjects other than my field of specialization. Ways to Cultivate a growth mindset and becoming a lifelong learner the most important things I wanted to get through this course. And after finishing this course I can confidently say that this course has offered me plenty of valuable suggestions and ideas to acquire what I wanted. One of the thongs I found astonishing is the advice 'Don't just follow your passion, broaden your passion'. I think this is a pretty valuable suggestion in today's era. Learning multiple skills is an excellent idea. This course has taught me to do that. The effective approaches to learn somethings faster and better are something this course has offered wonderfully. I have gained a lot and have put those learnings in my life. I have become a better learner after this course. Overall, I had an amazing experience in this course and this has left an impression in my life.

By Amirabbas

Apr 25, 2020

That was awesome. It can be a turning point in life for the learner. It is highly recommended to take this course. You can learn how to change your mindset in various or catastrophic situations effectively. Besides, it will help you how to take advantage of the other hidden potentials that everyone might have. The lecturers were completely professional and they can convey their meaning easily. In addition, this course provides some other techniques or facts, such as focused and diffused mode of the brain, to guide you to do your best in encountering difficult issues.

As a result, by taking all the aforementioned reasons into account, I do believe that one should become familiar with the presented concepts in this MOOC. It is worth mentioning that this course does not take a lot of time to complete. Additionally. the employed approaches to present the materials are so appealing. I wish the best for the lecturers and hope to learn more things from them in new MOOCs.

By Souradip P

Mar 13, 2022

This course(MOOC) was a good one. It provided some in-depth understanding about effective learning, second skilling, growth mindset. It taught me about the passion trap and how we shouldn't just blindly follow our passion. Changing the environment is also important for changing the mindset. Our thinking is divided into two types--- Focused mode and diffused mode. Focused mode plants the seed of learning while diffuse mode acts as the fertilizer for the soil of learning. It also taught me how a learning mindset makes us healthy both at mental and physical level. MOOCS are great way to pursue life long learning and reading books 20 min a day makes one the smartest person in the room. It was my first MOOC and the best MOOC to me. All thanks to the creators Barbara Oakley and Dr. Terrence Sejnowski. This MOOC is for everyone who wants to learn, change and adapt new ways of thinking related to career, personal growth and self improvement.

By Rufus F R j

Jul 2, 2020

If you want to learn something that may very well benefit you and your life, take this course. There is a good chance that this course will cut across all aspects of your life in a beneficial way. The numbers linked to this course speak for themselves because people from around the world and of all backgrounds and stripes take this course. Read the reviews! Learners like this course and some learners love this course because the course has value; and it may transform how you think and live. That is called a Mindshift! Take this course and the companion course: "Learning How To Learn," because your life may never be the same and may only get better. I am forever grateful to the course instructors, MCMaster University and Coursera for the transformative state that has taken place within my mind and my life as a result of the knowledge that I acquired from taking "Mindshift" and "Learning How to Learn" courses. Thank you.

By Richard L

Aug 3, 2021

This class was truly interesting in understanding how we learn, and to use this to improve our learning. I think we take for granted that we learn because of our teachers and parents, and that might be true as you move from middle school to high school, but what about post-college, mid-career? That's where I found myself after working at a job for 7 years and then not working there anymore, I needed change and sought initially to take a programming class when I saw this class in my search results. This is the meta of learning something new and I'm so glad I started with this so that I can be cognizant of what studies show to be an effective way of learning. And how applying/practicing this recently read or watched content is the only way to save these mental chunks for longer term usage. Thank you so much to Barbara and Terrence for making this Mooc (in Barbara's basement) with the care and attention they put into it.