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

12,677 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.


Oct 30, 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.

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351 - 375 of 3,625 Reviews for Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential

By jose m c

Sep 30, 2017

Muchas gracias a Barbara y a su equipo, por este segundo gran curso......debo señar que "Aprendiendo a Aprender" ha sido el primer MOOC que he completado y que cambió mis conocimientos, mostrándome que no había limitación alguna para seguir aprendiendo miestras viva (tengo 62 años) y que además, mi calidad de vida, se verá beneficiada importantemente, en la medida que siga aprendiendo. La verdad es que los agradecimientos son pocos y pobres en comparación al cambio que se ha generado en mi, gracias estos cursos..........fui a italia de paseo y pude comunicarme en Italiano, fui a Rusia a ver la copa de confederaciones y pude comunicarme en Ruso, jamás habría imaginado alguna vez que esto podría ocurrir, he realizado varios otros Moocs (Cocina al vacio, confección de juegos vía PC, etc.).

Escribo esta referencia en español, para motivar a los latinoparlantes. Un abrazo e infinitas gracias.


Jun 25, 2021

I have taken other courses in Coursera but I felt this is" best course". I didn't get bored while listening to the lecture, I enjoyed listening to the classes.

What I learnt from this course is 1st thing: Whether we are slow or fast learner everyone have their potential to succeed. We have find our hidden potential . We have to change ourselves first, to make things change . We have potential to achieve something in our life. We have to set a goal, and plan strategy to achieve in our Carrier. We have to motivate ourselves every single day when we don't feel motivated.

2nd thing: I changed myself, I thought I have to take action towards the opportunities , it's okay if I fail at the 1st attempt, at least I learned something from it.  Sometimes our greatest insight comes from our failures, not from our accomplishments. I found this course useful. I would recommend to anybody to for it.

By Susan F

Sep 14, 2020

I was researching courses I could use for professional development and this one called to me. I advise students at a community college and was looking for ways to help me help them be more successful. I loved that the course incorporated time management strategies with study skills under the umbrella of neuroscience and made it fun.

I actually used the information in the Mindshift MOOC myself. I like math, but it is not my strength and I started taking an online class which was very intimidating, but I tackled it and didn't let the "failures" get in the way of the progress. I reflected on them and reviewed the lessons until I had adequate success and moved on. No, I will not become a mathematician, but my math competency improved along with my confidence. I'm not 18-years-old and have had plenty of success in other areas of my life, so I know this method works for all ages.

By Joneyd N R D

May 23, 2020

I cannot say how grateful I am by discovering this course, or MOOC as people call it. It instantly changed my way of thinking. Not only how I process the facts or make my daily decisions. I now do not feel the regret that I had for the past. I always thought it was a bit waste, which in fact was only an experience (maybe a bad one, but still...). I already recommended this MOOC to my friends and family, and some of them started taking it. I decided to finally commit to my long overdue career switch and I feel like I have more hope than ever before. Another thing that I started on a daily basis is that I label my feelings, which I learned in this MOOC. Being mad, frustrated, happy... I can now experience and give a better meaning to moods and mood shifts. Thank you for making this MOOC and thanks to Coursera for making it free in these difficult and uncertain times.

By mahmoud d

Nov 14, 2019

MindShift is a very interesting and helpful class. It teaches concepts about how to improve yourself and become motivated about learning. A few key concepts are being taught that will help students shift there focus to a positive outlook on learning and life in general. Some of my misconceptions debunked and widen my understanding of how the learn and retain what we’ve studied. If you are a Slow learner take the class you will learn how it has it advantages. It teaches you how to be an active and continuous learner, and how you will master what you’re learning. What you may see as a disadvantage has advantages and the class teaches how to shift your focus to the advantages. I would recommend this class to anyone who is having difficulty at school or wants to become a better student. If you want to start learning online, this class is a good Launchpad and motivator.

By zee d

Apr 24, 2020

I came across Baraba Oakley through her TED talk at a time when I was looking into the mechanics of learning. There has been a critique that this course does not provide deeper insight into learning methods. Most people, let me go out on a limb that and say that at least 85-90% people are not introduced to techniques and the main purpose of learning during our school and university years ( especially in Asian societies where cramming is the name of the game). This course provides an easy introduction toa) the concept of what is a mindsetb) and the different individual and societal factors that shape it and how it can be changed.I do agree that at least a single video at the end of each week or perhaps 2, looking at or providing references to an in-depth study of the topics discussed. So yes, a pretty good starting point for beginners to understand who we learn.

By Carlos C

Nov 8, 2021

This is my second MOOC from professors Barb Oakley and Terry Sejnowski and their fun, focused style keeps content that can go deep and dense very quickly as an enjoyable and encouraging experience. Tests are made to reinforce concepts and ideas explained in the lectures and not as filters to weed out "bad learners".

The additional resources (e.g. memory tips from Nelson Dellis) enhance the course experience and give something concrete to practice learning a new, valuable skill. The last section of the training felt more of a reflection on how learning can/will change with new technologies and this is good food for thought but I failed to see the link with the material previously revised. Overall, I very much recommend this training as a first step to get into MOOC learning mode and as the first course to take before "Learning How to Learn", from the same team.

By Tania S

May 27, 2020

Mindshift, it's not just a title but the Mooc has actually made it happen, For other readers out there, pls take this MOOC you can thank me later,We are so accustomed to being superficially knowledgeable about our selves and how our mind works that we tend to ignore the small facets that make us who we are, how we think, and what we feel. This MOOC gives you a detailed but very layman understanding of these small facets that actually make up the complex reasoning in our minds......I have never felt a Wow, feeling for any other learning experience before this ......I have a great benchmark set for Mooc Learning and trust me, no one can exceed this Mooc in Visual teaching.Barbara Oakley and Terrence Sejnowski have actually taken the efforts to not only educate us but also uplift and enhance our lives and prepare us for the everchanging future as great mentors

By Deleted A

May 26, 2020

I've found this to be a great class. The teachers were very humorous, and taught the lessons in a very digestible manner–meaning they were able to explain it clearly and even dumb it down to new learners like me.

It also helps that they utilized a lot of photos and analogies in their lessons, because then it's easier for me to relate it to my life, and see how it can be relevant to me. Moreover, as a passionate learner, I really appreciate how they were able to change my perspective on how I'm learning using research & mental tricks. I'm always hard on myself when I'm learning something new, so it's great to have a new perspective & a new approach that I can apply in my future MOOCs.

Truly recommend this MOOC to all passionate leaners, no matter what field you're in. It's easy to understand, quick, and best of all not boring at all!

By Carol N

Jul 17, 2020

This course has helped me to realize that as a human being I have the ability to learn at any age, to uncover my hidden potentials and that I have the ability to do whatever I set my mind to do no matter my intelligence level. In fact, the fact that I am a slow learner is, in some way, to my advantage. It enables me to be an even better learner and be more creative. Taking this MOOC has emboldened and helped me to gain confidence in my ability to learning well. I now understand the need to be a constant learner due to the rapid changes taking place around us. Thanks to this course, I am in route to becoming addicted to learning, weather it be by regularly taking well designed MOOCS or reading a book for at least 20 minutes per day. I am confident that the best is yet to come in both my professional and personal life.

By Muhammad A

Apr 22, 2020

Very well arranged course for making a true mindshift in your self to bring the best of you in front of you.

I have learnt so many things specially type of minds and every category has its own benefits. So we need to have a brain mindset which help you to tackle every situation in life.

One more important thing is that environment has played a vital role in your learning whatever you are trying to learn online or through books etc you should have consider your environment first which should be either helping your learning or distracting your learning.

Added further, try to learn something new which is irrelevant to your life style and profession and this will certainly broadup your mindset .

Every thing what you learn is important despite the fact whether is important or not.

All the best for the learner's.

Happy learning.

By D R k

Jun 25, 2020

This is my first online course which i take under the topic mindshift. Both Barbara Oakley and Terry Sejnowski are excellent in explaining the course material with fun,humour and metaphor which makes this course so much interesting. I found the course easy to understand. The information,strategies and techniques provided in this course are so much useful and helpful in daily life while reading,learning and doing so many different things. This course gives me new direction of thinking and encouraged me to learn about something different other than my profession.This course provides good and impressive methods to improve learning and increased my interest in online learning.I really enjoyed this course.So much thanks to this course , the course instructors Barbara Oakley & Terry Sejnowski and the mindshift team.

By Yin F

Nov 30, 2020

Learning this course shifted my mind as I CHANGEED and built several mindsets.

1. It broadened my horizon , enabled my reaching out to new knowledge: cognitive learning related topics, neuro science, brain parts, the activation of the stress system, intelligence of emotion, mental tricks, mathematical proficiency, Procedural Influence VS conceptual understanding

2. It taught me how to transfer some seemingly negative feelings - imposter, poor memory, Bad traits, Hobby and brain, learning type

3. It gave me fresh momentum on taking actions to do something new: say, to do a MOOC, learn editing, as personally I like being with kids, I like public speaking, I like visualize/ sketch to simplify difficult knowledge. Why not try? I will definitely be somewhat academia, silicon valley, and Hollywood!!

By L.Prithviraj S

Jul 19, 2021

Often we have come across the line, "learning is the only constant" but how often do we talk about the true essence of learning? What impact does learning new things have on us? Is it important to learn what others are learning or the way others are learning it? I had all these questions in my mind when I started "Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential". As the course unraveled itself, I was opened up to some amazing insights about career and life enhancements in today's dynamic learning environment. To whoever is looking at "Learning how to Learn" this is a very powerful & splendidly put-together MOOC by Barbara OakleyOpens in a new tab. A quote that'll be stuck with me, by Daniel Kahneman “Nothing in life is as important as you think it is, while you are thinking about it”

By Kenneth A L

Feb 12, 2020

I cannot thank the Professors in this course for their efforts. I have terminal cancer and it make life a bit difficult at times but I found this course inspirational. I am trying to learn the maths I should have learned but decided not to. There is so much to be fascinated by this world if we open our eyes. And The Professors have opened my eyes. A reluctance to try the methods suggested had been replaced when I used them and found that they really did work - I have always been sceptical. I have been told that I need to exercise if I am to have any chance at stopping the progression of this illness. And it seems that exercise is vitally important no matter what we do be it fighting an illness or learning new things. So I will try to exercise! Well done on such an insightful and motivating course.

By Sanjib S

Apr 16, 2020

Everyone interested in learning, career, career progression and job/career change, learning how to best learn and make an impact should take this course. This course has broken many myths and preconceived notion that I had. I used to think that my graduation in Physics had nothing to do with my masters of computer science and thought that I wasted a couple of my career years. But thanks to Barb and Terry, I am able to come out of that. As is rightly said in many instances, your previous background, even when seemingly unrelated, can prove to be a surprising enhancement to your job or studies.

Learning through life is another take away and being able to read more than others make all the difference. I wish Barb and Terry surprise us with many such MOOCs in future as well. All the best.

By Tete M

Aug 15, 2017

As someone who is still relatively new to MOOCs, I've to say this is an amazing course that will help you understand and seek new knowledge in a more organized and productive way:

After taking it, I know more about how important it is to acquire new knowledge in other areas, not just in my chosen career, and how useful that knowledge can be for it! In addition, they give great advice on how to change the way you think about your potential, and how important it is to broaden you passions. The advice on how to select new MOOCs to try is also great: with it, I now have a list of requisites that any MOOC I take in the future needs to pass, so I can get the best of online learning.

Overall, a great MOOC full of useful information, great advice, excellent material and amazing teachers!

By shashwata p

Apr 19, 2020

Mindshift, taught by Dr. Barbara Oakley and Dr. Terry Sjenowski is suitable for everyone of all ages who aspires to reinvent oneself at some point in their life.They help us inculcate a learning habit and teach us to be accepting of one's own learning pace and modes of learning rather than specifying a hard prescription. The use of cognitive neuroscience explanations are done in a simple, easy to understand way by way of illustrations and analogies.This course is suitable for those trying to jump careers entirely or even for those who want to make a minor shifts in their already existing career. As the course openly professes "Broaden your passions, do not limit them". I recommend this to anyone who is looking to set a firm base to initiate or restart their learning

By Mitali G S

Oct 18, 2021

A wonderful course indeed.....I didn't imagine, the subject can be taught is such a classic way....and basically I never thought that this topic can ever be taught to anyone... Dr. Barbara Oakley, is outstanding....her way of expressing or I would say teaching (she being a teacher) and the examples sited are simply amazing and also make the subject easy to understand. Summing up few of my take aways from this MOOC is active participation, how focused and diffused brain situation helps one, the Pomodoro Technique, selective ignorance, acknowledging emotions and moving forward, passion with broader mindset, being a slow learner, anxious or worrying is absolutely fine and can also get person to the ladder of success; never-the-less a supportive mindshift !

By Iván L P

Apr 12, 2020

Este MOOC no podría haber llegado en mejor momento; Estoy en una etapa de cambios, no solo por el coronavirus, quiero decir a nivel personal, llegué a un punto de inflexión, y muchos de los argumentos y conocimientos que recibí a través de este curso me han motivado a atrapar al toro por el cuernos y lucha para ser mi mejor versión de mí mismo. ¡Gracias por todo!_______________Este MOOC no pudo llegar en mejor momento; me encuentro en una etapa de cambios, ya no solo a causa del coronavirus, sino a nivel personal, llegué a un punto de inflexión, y muchas de las argumentaciones y conocimientos que recibí a través de este curso, me han motivado para coger el toro por los cuernos y luchar por ser mi mejor versión de mi mismo. ¡Muchas gracias por todo!

By Kyle C

Jul 30, 2018

Though similar in many ways to Learning How to Learn, I thought the emphasis in this course on how we can understand and use learning to better ourselves and actually shift our lives and careers was particularly impactful. The key insights, for me, include: knowing that I have to practice things and that conceptual understanding isn't the optimal goal; that one's environment, both people and place, impact learning; that boys have slower verbal advancement on average than girls (that has quite an impact on areas of focus and society); that reframing can actually cause a neurological shift to make things easier to deal with; that learning styles aren't proven; and using a "Pi" approach to learning can be advantageous. Thanks, Barb!

By Fabiola M

Oct 10, 2022

I have appreciated every aspect of this course, from the way the teachers have organized the topics to talk about, the time divisionz the duration of videos, the material provided to the scripts and the presentation of the MOOC into interesting and sometimes funny way. It is a very well planned work. I loved the way Barbara speak, her relaxed tone, her friendly expressions, her passion for sharing. The contents are great, they encorage to always being willing to learn something new and to deepen your knowledge. I encorage everyone to follow the MOOC, is professional and easy to follow, I was pleased to find time to dedicate to it and to participate in the peer review and little tests. Great experience and first MOOC completed!

By Prabhkaran S

Jun 29, 2020

I have personally benefited a lot from this course. I am going through a "Mindshift". I am going through a major transition in my file and I wasn't sure about it. I was getting cold feet, confused, suffered from the Imposter Syndrome, and some other stuff. But this course made me understand how I could tackle these obstacles which were interfering in this transition phase of my life. This course has given me the tools with which I can begin the new chapter in my life with less anxiety than I had before commencing this MOOC. It has taught me about things which happen in my everyday life but I wasn't not fully aware of them. This MOOC gives new perspectives to various concepts, which are all relevant to today's world.

By najat a c

Jan 7, 2021

I really enjoyed this course and MOOC learning. The presentations were suitable and easy to grasp. The short videos were just right in giving enough information one can grasp. I enjoyed the quizzes and assignments as they were helpful in reviewing the material. The pieces of information were valuable and motivational and I felt the shift from the first video. Learning how to shift bad habits (as to speak) into positive ones, using old skills to improve new careers, valuing the advantage of poor memory, and broaden your passions were fantastic ideas plus a lot more. Thank you for delivering such a course and I'm looking for more of them especially about discovering your hidden potential. Perhaps level 2 course! :).

By Terry T

Sep 26, 2019

This is an excellent follow-up course to "Learning How to Learn" in that it augments the principles of the first class through interviews, supportive activities and opportunities to interact with others engaged in the learning endeavor. As someone who is trying to diversify their skills and abilities, the materials presented and thought-provoking points regarding personal struggles that just about everyone is going through or has gone through in their lifetimes. I appreciate the candor and methodologies utilized to get the intended points or learning across to a truly diversified corps of students......Now, what's the follow-up course to this duplex of learning/self evaluation & discovery offerings?