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Intro

Coursera: Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects

 with  Terrence Sejnowski and Barbara Oakley
Class Central Course Rank
#2 in Subjects > Personal Development
#2 in Subjects > Personal Development > Self Improvement

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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 the 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.)

To join the fully translated Portuguese version of the course, visit: https://www.coursera.org/learn/aprender
To join the fully translated Spanish version of the course, visit: https://www.coursera.org/learn/aprendiendo-a-aprender
To join the fully translated Chinese version of the course, visit: https://www.coursera.org/learn/ruhe-xuexi

Syllabus

What is Learning?
Although living brains are very complex, this module uses metaphor and analogy to help simplify matters. You will discover several fundamentally different modes of thinking, and how you can use these modes to improve your learning. You will also be introduced to a tool for tackling procrastination, be given some practical information about memory, and discover surprisingly useful insights about learning and sleep.

(Please note that this module should only take about an hour--the extra time quoted relates to purely optional activities.)

Chunking
In this module, we’re going to be talking about chunks. Chunks are compact packages of information that your mind can easily access. We’ll talk about how you can form chunks, how you can use them to improve your understanding and creativity with the material, and how chunks can help you to do better on tests. We’ll also explore illusions of competence in learning, the challenges of overlearning, and the advantages of interleaving.

Procrastination and Memory
In this module, we talk about two intimately connected ideas—procrastination and memory. Building solid chunks in long term memory--chunks that are easily accessible by your short term memory—takes time. This is why learning to handle procrastination is so important. Finally, we talk about some of the best ways to access your brain’s most powerful long term memory systems.

Renaissance Learning and Unlocking Your Potential
In this module we’re going to talk more about important ideas and techniques that will enhance your ability to learn. You’ll also discover how to more profitably interact with fellow learners, how to recognize your own strengths, and how to avoid the “imposter syndrome.” Fighter pilots and surgeons use checklists to help them with their critical duties—you can use a similar checklist to help you prepare for tests. Ultimately, you will learn more about the joys of living a life filled with learning!

3529 Student
reviews
Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
Pace Upcoming
Provider Coursera
Language English
Certificates Paid Certificate Available
Hours 3-4 hours a week
Calendar 4 weeks long
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In-Depth Review
The knowledge and tools you will gain here will have a profound effect on your life for years to come. I’ve found these effects do not just apply to learning, but also to my work and my life in general. Read Review
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MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you.  They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.

Reviews for Coursera's Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects
4.9 Based on 3529 reviews

  • 5 stars 87%
  • 4 stars 11%
  • 3 stars 1%
  • 2 stars 0%
  • 1 stars 0%

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  • 1
5.0 4 years ago
Jayne Mccormack completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very easy.
A very useful course covering concepts behind how to learn effectively and efficently. Barbara Oakley is a warm and friendly presenter whose videos make a potentially dull subject fun and enjoyable (with the use of zombies, flying mules, etc). Terrence Sejnowski tends to do one main video a week, detailing more anatomical/medical aspects. I'd recommend it to anyone who is about to undertake some serious studying as it covers techniques such as overcoming procrastination and learning fallacies.

There is no statement of achievement for this course, which has caused quite a bit of upset and negativity on Coursera. If you wish to have a certificate, the only option is the (paid) Signature Track which requires extra assignments to be completed. If you can't afford the fee, Coursera do offer some assistance. Please check their FAQs for details.
93 people found
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5.0 2 years ago
Anonymous partially completed this course.
Before reviewing, I would like to note that I was a straight-A student in school, graduated Magna Cum Laude from university, and have taught myself both Japanese and Chinese. I love learning, hence why I took this course.

With that said, this should not be titled "Learning How to Learn", it should be titled "The Amazing Brain Science to Help You Make the Most of Yourself". I signed up for this course with the intention of using it to help me make the most of later courses I'd like to take, but I was shocked at how much of it is applicable in everyday life. I have many projects that I (would have liked) to be working on but had trouble finding the motivation to do so. What I learned here about handling procrastination - the pomodoro technique, focusing on process rather than product, etc - has helped me become both more focused but also helps me allow myself to relax, meaning I'm more ready to take on other projects, positive cycle etc., etc. What I learned about short
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Before reviewing, I would like to note that I was a straight-A student in school, graduated Magna Cum Laude from university, and have taught myself both Japanese and Chinese. I love learning, hence why I took this course.

With that said, this should not be titled "Learning How to Learn", it should be titled "The Amazing Brain Science to Help You Make the Most of Yourself". I signed up for this course with the intention of using it to help me make the most of later courses I'd like to take, but I was shocked at how much of it is applicable in everyday life. I have many projects that I (would have liked) to be working on but had trouble finding the motivation to do so. What I learned here about handling procrastination - the pomodoro technique, focusing on process rather than product, etc - has helped me become both more focused but also helps me allow myself to relax, meaning I'm more ready to take on other projects, positive cycle etc., etc. What I learned about short- and long-term memory, chunking, creating interesting metaphors, and so on, has had a direct impact on my ability to do my job well and commit relevant information to memory quickly. True, there are some things in the course I already knew and did (such as using flashcards - if you don't already, DO IT), but there was so much more that I was either able to understand the how and why things worked or were just flat out helpful.

If you are considering taking this course at all, do it. It's quite worth it.
75 people found
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4.0 7 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
If you're like me, you probably thought that the steps to proper learning were obvious. And in a sense, they are obvious, so you'd be right. Those people who told you to stop procrastinating, start early, and try harder/smarter if you weren't putting in enough effort/reasoning were right. But most of those people who tell you those things only focus on trying to persuade you into doing better. They never tell you HOW to do it better.

If you're stuck in understanding the how of learning, this course is great in helping you figure that out (I mean, that's kind of what it's supposed to do considering the title, but take this as a confirmation from an "alumni" of this course. I put the quotes because I'm not sure if that term is appropriate, but humor me for a bit).

Adding on to what I said earlier in this review, this course does indeed talk about the obvious in terms of being a good student, but it also goes a step above that by providing details that I never ev
Read more
If you're like me, you probably thought that the steps to proper learning were obvious. And in a sense, they are obvious, so you'd be right. Those people who told you to stop procrastinating, start early, and try harder/smarter if you weren't putting in enough effort/reasoning were right. But most of those people who tell you those things only focus on trying to persuade you into doing better. They never tell you HOW to do it better.

If you're stuck in understanding the how of learning, this course is great in helping you figure that out (I mean, that's kind of what it's supposed to do considering the title, but take this as a confirmation from an "alumni" of this course. I put the quotes because I'm not sure if that term is appropriate, but humor me for a bit).

Adding on to what I said earlier in this review, this course does indeed talk about the obvious in terms of being a good student, but it also goes a step above that by providing details that I never even considered. Now I understand the process of learning better, and because I understand a little better, I've become more motivated in trying new things out. I guess what I'm trying to say is that even if you learn noting from this course, this course can help you re-open your mind if it ever felt closed at any point in your life.

The only reason why I'm not giving this course a perfect score is because while this course teaches you how to learn, it's hard to confirm if it actually works. Yes, it tests you now and then to see if you actually understand what it's trying to teach, and personally I think it does a pretty good job at it, but I have yet to find out if this applies to other topics that I want to learn. It seems that the course tries to get your feet wet with the learning that you have ahead of you too, but until I actually get to those topics and try to understand them in greater depth, I can't really confirm if these learning methods that were presented will be effective for said topics.

But I hope you won't let my uncertainty scare you. While I don't know about how the rest of my learning will go or what it has in store for me, finishing this course has gotten me to look forward to studying them. It's made me more active than I've been in a while, and I can't be more excited than I currently am to tackle new subjects and broaden my horizons.

So to close up this review, the last thing I want to say is that I would not waste my time writing this extensive review if I didn't think it was enjoyable or worth the time. For me, it clearly was. In fact, I've never written a review this long. This is a first. Consider me a believer of this course, because I am convinced it did something for me. I don't regret going through any of these lessons one bit. Thanks for reading.

tl;dr - If you think you know how to get good at learning, then you probably do, but this course can help you get even better at it because it has details to learning that may not seem as obvious. It was worth my time, and I feel like a better person after finishing it.
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5.0 3 years ago
by Panos Gr completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very easy.
This was one of the most rewarding courses I have taken. It's also very conveniently the most time-effective one because it teaches you a broad variety of tips and "cheats" for hacking into your own mind and making yourself feel and BE more productive.

In barely 4 weeks, and without any technical language (even the optional course book is written as if it were a friend talking to you!!) I've learned how to beat one of my biggest problems -procrastination , how to become more productive in the way I study (learn more in less time) , how to memorize things strongly and when to use long/short term memory and how to improve them, how we sometimes unconsciously block out correct answers while taking tests, in which order it is best to answer questions on tests and why focus on things in a broader context rather than seeing only the small picture (forest vs tree analogy) amongst many, many other things.

My advice on this course is to take it without thinking about
Read more
This was one of the most rewarding courses I have taken. It's also very conveniently the most time-effective one because it teaches you a broad variety of tips and "cheats" for hacking into your own mind and making yourself feel and BE more productive.

In barely 4 weeks, and without any technical language (even the optional course book is written as if it were a friend talking to you!!) I've learned how to beat one of my biggest problems -procrastination , how to become more productive in the way I study (learn more in less time) , how to memorize things strongly and when to use long/short term memory and how to improve them, how we sometimes unconsciously block out correct answers while taking tests, in which order it is best to answer questions on tests and why focus on things in a broader context rather than seeing only the small picture (forest vs tree analogy) amongst many, many other things.

My advice on this course is to take it without thinking about it twice. It will leave you in a very short time (for a mooc) with a lot of knowledge and gained wisdom on many aspects of your life. Truly a life-enhancing experience that is free(!!) and nobody should miss out on. Are you still reading this review??What are you waiting for!Look for the next starting session!!
59 people found
this review helpful
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4.0 2 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Dr. Oakley was fantastic. Sure, the videos are graphically simple, but she has done a great job of visually breaking up sections of her teaching by changing what you see on screen. She uses different combinations of camera angles and pictures to focus (and keep) your attention which helped me mentally organize the ideas presented. The course coincidentally provided me with tremendous tools to use to finally start to manage depression. The optional reading in the first week about depression, anxiety, ptsd sounded like I could have written it.

I had purchased the book, A Mind For Numbers during the second week of class and am currently reading it. It's a terrific book, now reinforcing what I have learned by presenting a different form of representing the organization of ideas. It all works really well for the way my mind works, especially as I am learning programming at the same time (I left college with two semesters to go about two years ago, and I'm finally re-ramping up
Read more
Dr. Oakley was fantastic. Sure, the videos are graphically simple, but she has done a great job of visually breaking up sections of her teaching by changing what you see on screen. She uses different combinations of camera angles and pictures to focus (and keep) your attention which helped me mentally organize the ideas presented. The course coincidentally provided me with tremendous tools to use to finally start to manage depression. The optional reading in the first week about depression, anxiety, ptsd sounded like I could have written it.

I had purchased the book, A Mind For Numbers during the second week of class and am currently reading it. It's a terrific book, now reinforcing what I have learned by presenting a different form of representing the organization of ideas. It all works really well for the way my mind works, especially as I am learning programming at the same time (I left college with two semesters to go about two years ago, and I'm finally re-ramping up my learning, this course being a major stepping stone).

Unfortunately, whenever Dr Sejnowski had a video (and corresponding quiz questions), I became increasingly irritated as the weeks went by. It was painfully clear that he was reading something he had written seemingly the night before. His videos showed very little effort had been put in, and I was a little insulted. His contributions to the course apparently did not manifest as intended. I don't immediately remember most of what his videos were about, which is disappointing because I would love to learn more about brain chemistry and physiology in general. I wouldn't necessarily want to see him out of the videos entirely, but they need to be completely reformatted and he should change the way he prepares and presents himself if he wants to make a more positive impact on learners. Otherwise, his contribution might be better as an author or suggestor of readings.

I love the content of this course, but some aspects of its presentation could be improved. Perhaps some video student interns!
19 people found
this review helpful
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5.0 6 months ago
Anonymous completed this course.
The farmer who wishes to maximize the yield from his crops could pursue the strategy of spending all of his working hours in directly maintaining his crops by hand. A superior strategy would be for the farmer to spend time inventing a tractor, a period during which he yields no crops, with the justification that once this tractor is completed the rate at which he will henceforth yield crops will outpace the rate at which he would be yielding them by hand. Given enough time, the net yield using the tractor strategy will catch up to and then soar past the net yield he would obtain if he continued with his original strategy.

Similarly, it is my opinion that learning how to learn is a meta-skill that ought to be taught from the onset of a child's education. By sacrificing a fraction of school hours every day to teach a student how to improve her learning efficiency, the rate at which she can learn in all of her other subjects will be vastly improved so that the total sum of a
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The farmer who wishes to maximize the yield from his crops could pursue the strategy of spending all of his working hours in directly maintaining his crops by hand. A superior strategy would be for the farmer to spend time inventing a tractor, a period during which he yields no crops, with the justification that once this tractor is completed the rate at which he will henceforth yield crops will outpace the rate at which he would be yielding them by hand. Given enough time, the net yield using the tractor strategy will catch up to and then soar past the net yield he would obtain if he continued with his original strategy.

Similarly, it is my opinion that learning how to learn is a meta-skill that ought to be taught from the onset of a child's education. By sacrificing a fraction of school hours every day to teach a student how to improve her learning efficiency, the rate at which she can learn in all of her other subjects will be vastly improved so that the total sum of all knowledge and understanding will be greater over the long-haul than if that sacrificed time had instead been spent on traditional subjects. What information and particular strategy the teacher should use in teaching his students how to learn should of course be catered to the age group of the students; it would be silly to bombard a group of kindergarten students with in-depth explanations of einstellung, consolidation and aceytlcholine. However, students are generally thrown into the education system with the instruction 'do' but without solid advice on 'how?'. They receive vague, uninspired advice like 'do your best', but it's left up to the students to figure out how. This is particularly evident in mathematics, more specifically as students reach the higher levels, where following algorithms by rote to solve a problem is no longer sufficient as it was when learning long-division. It's true that through trial-and-error many students eventually do discover learning techniques that work for them, but even then, it's unlikely that their method is optimal.

Improving my learning efficiency is something I have wanted for myself for years but never bothered to actually pursue. I'm glad I finally buckled down and devoted myself to absorb the contents of this online course. Had I learned this material earlier in my life, a substantial fraction of the personal suffering I endured making my way through high school as a competitive student then two university math degrees could have been alleviated, and the process of teaching myself Spanish would also have been accelerated. I am new to Coursera -- Learning How to Learn is the first online course I have taken, and that was on purpose. I knew that if this course offered the appropriate information for learning how to learn then the digestion of its contents would be the construction of the tractor that would accelerate my learning in all future online courses, as well as learning in general. And although I admittedly haven't yet put to practice all aspects of the information presented in this course, I am confident that it does indeed offer the appropriate information for learning to to learn.
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5.0 4 years ago
Anita Ayres is taking this course right now, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
I am enjoying this course very much. I am interested in the content of the course more than the recognition for the course. I homeschool my children and they are all taking the course as well. Just because Coursera is not offering a free certificate of learning does not mean that I cannot give my students credit for taking the course. I have always been more interested in knowledge than in paper saying I have knowledge, so maybe I am unique in that mindset. I also believe that there is something for everyone in this course from beginners to advanced learners.
36 people found
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5.0 4 years ago
by Vijayakumar Menon N is taking this course right now, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
Hi. This course clearly describes the complex process of how the human brain works while learning. Students get exposed to many new concepts : focused and diffused modes of brain functioning, working memory , short term memory and long term memory, learning techniques like chunking, spaced repetition, recalling in different environments, avoiding tendencies to procrastinate and so on. How the neuromodulators get released in the brain when you learn with motivation and how you can benefit out of that. Anyone can improve his or her learning habits by doing this interesting course. Dr Terrence Sejnowski and Dr Barbara Oakley are both excellent teachers. It is a highly recommended MOOC course.
29 people found
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4.0 3 years ago
by Gregory J Hamel ( Life Is Study) audited this course and found the course difficulty to be very easy.
Learning How to Learn is a 4 lesson self-paced course that summarizes key findings in neuroscience about how we learn. The course touches on brain function, working and long-term memory and various methods for improving learning as well as overcoming hurdles like procrastination.

The lecture content in learning how to learn is very good. Videos aren't too long, the lecturer is clear and personable and everything is easy to understand. There are more bonus/guest lectures than you'd see with a typical MOOC and I find engaging, memorable guest lectures are rare. Also, you can't fully complete the course unless you verify your identity before submitting quizzes, even if you don't want a verified certificate.

One of the main pitfalls with MOOCs is that you can get into the habit of watching hours of lecture content without taking time out to practice, recall and commit ideas into long-term memory. Good courses help students learn with quizzes and homework; this c
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Learning How to Learn is a 4 lesson self-paced course that summarizes key findings in neuroscience about how we learn. The course touches on brain function, working and long-term memory and various methods for improving learning as well as overcoming hurdles like procrastination.

The lecture content in learning how to learn is very good. Videos aren't too long, the lecturer is clear and personable and everything is easy to understand. There are more bonus/guest lectures than you'd see with a typical MOOC and I find engaging, memorable guest lectures are rare. Also, you can't fully complete the course unless you verify your identity before submitting quizzes, even if you don't want a verified certificate.

One of the main pitfalls with MOOCs is that you can get into the habit of watching hours of lecture content without taking time out to practice, recall and commit ideas into long-term memory. Good courses help students learn with quizzes and homework; this course teaches students other things they can do, such as making flash cards, taking breaks and getting adequate sleep, to maximize learning. Considering the main lecture content only takes a few hours complete, this course offers a good amount of value for your time.

I give this course 4 out of 5 stars: Very Good.
10 people found
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5.0 3 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Learning How to Learn is a wonderful course for any student, education professional or lifelong learner. The course itself is full of useful information and scientific evidence on the process of learning. I highly recommend watching the optional interviews and reading up on some of the optional readings, many of those are fascinating and worthwhile on your path of learning. Barb Oakley and Terry Sejnowski do a wonderful job presenting in an entertaining and concise manner, you can tell they are truly passionate about this subject and want nothing more than to help other learners to learn more effectively.

I was very grateful for the short tests after many sections that helped keep me focused and ensure that I understood the material. I also enjoyed the short comment sections at the end of many videos (even though I am doubtful that anyone actually reads them) it felt good to write out my thoughts about a subject or finding. I also very much appreciated how the course is “
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Learning How to Learn is a wonderful course for any student, education professional or lifelong learner. The course itself is full of useful information and scientific evidence on the process of learning. I highly recommend watching the optional interviews and reading up on some of the optional readings, many of those are fascinating and worthwhile on your path of learning. Barb Oakley and Terry Sejnowski do a wonderful job presenting in an entertaining and concise manner, you can tell they are truly passionate about this subject and want nothing more than to help other learners to learn more effectively.

I was very grateful for the short tests after many sections that helped keep me focused and ensure that I understood the material. I also enjoyed the short comment sections at the end of many videos (even though I am doubtful that anyone actually reads them) it felt good to write out my thoughts about a subject or finding. I also very much appreciated how the course is “at your own pace” and you can do as much (or as little) as you want, that made it really easy to fit into my schedule. My favorite part about this course was the credibility of having it presented by two renowned doctors and that every section had works cited that backed up any claims made within the videos. You can find a lot of information online in the realm of learning and less and less of it is actually backed up with scientific evidence, it comforted me knowing that the team behind this course had done their due diligence and could back up any claim they made with evidence. As with anything you will get as much out of this course as you put in, however, as someone who scours the Internet for resources on helping students there is no better centralized place with scientifically supported tools and information on learning. I work in a role as a university professional that focuses on helping students navigate college successfully and positively, I have no doubt that this course will help me to be a better resource to students.

Summary: I would highly recommend this course to anyone looking to improve upon his or her knowledge or ability in the realm of learning. It is full of scientifically backed up information, presented clearly, entertaining and is absolutely free to take! What do you stand to lose?

5 people found
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4.0 3 years ago
Abhijith Gopal completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very easy.
Material is very easy. You can watch most of the videos at 1.5x or more.

Nice material to validate techniques that you are following or correct your methodology if you are doing things the ineffective way.

Either way, its sort of a feedback for your learning methods. Of course, feedbacks themselves are subjective but useful for introspection.

If not anything, gives you reassurance that you are not alone when it comes to struggles during learning or solving problems :)
23 people found
this review helpful
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5.0 3 years ago
by Richa completed this course, spending 5 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
This course was truly insightful. I have experienced a paradigm shift in the way I used to understand the process of learning. I had my own set of mental blocks that prevented me from enjoying the learning process. I had reached a point in my life where learning new concepts was more of a burden. And procrastination had started affecting most aspects of my life.this course has changed the way I look at learning. Thanks to the course, it's style, it's content, the instructors.. Learning has become joyful once again.i am really obliged to dr Barbara oaklay.. I will remember her as one of the most influential teachers it have come across in my life so far.

I highly recommend that all students and teachers take this course and make learning a joyful experience.

Thanks
10 people found
this review helpful
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5.0 3 years ago
by Trinity Taylor audited this course, spending 1 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very easy.
Utilizing the latest discoveries in neuroscience, this course provides students with the tools to tackle a plethora of obstacles encountered when learning a new and/or difficult subject. The lectures are direct, short, sweet and easy to understand. Barbara Oakley's corny humor is refreshing and absurd; so not only will students retain the information, they'll actually enjoy every lesson. The assignments and assessments are structured around the same principles taught in the lectures so students can begin practicing the methods they've learned immediately. Even if all you can do is audit, this is a class worth taking.
11 people found
this review helpful
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5.0 3 years ago
Janelle is taking this course right now, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
Everyone should take this course. If you're on this platform then learning how to learn will be interesting. It doesn't take up too much time so you can easily study something else while doing this course. I plan on reviewing the tools learnt here very often.
17 people found
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5.0 3 years ago
Anonymous completed this course.
Fiona C Crawford

I have completed this course. I found it to be excellent. I completed all the tests and assignments and ended up with 100% (although I have not paid for a certificate). I spent about 3 to 4 hours a week on it.
17 people found
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5.0 3 years ago
Kirill Soloviev audited this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
I highly recommend this course for anyone taking MOOCs or doing any other active studying. It was absolutely fantastic, one of the best MOOC experiences I've ever had - setting the bar very high for all other courses I take. The instructors were very knowledgeable, yet explained everything in terms simple enough for everyone to follow. Plus, they have a great sense of humor :)
10 people found
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5.0 3 years ago
by Renata Lamas completed this course.
Absolutely perfect. It really changed the way I study my subjects and complete my tasks. There has been almost 2 weeks since I actually finished the course and my progress has improved a lot.

I want to say thank and hug Dr. Barbara Oakley for give everyone in this world (specially me) the opportunity to learn such amazing tools!
11 people found
this review helpful
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5.0 5 months ago
by Sam O Sugiyama completed this course.
The course was brilliantly done. From how a person receives input (sees it (visual), hears it (auditory), feels it/tries it/does it-hands-on (kinesthetic), to how a person perceives the input; the course describes in a very understandable way, how to harness the input by effectively using your ‘brain.’ Professors Oakley and Sejnowski describe how the brain works (focused mode & diffused mode; working memory and long-term memory; . . . ), and how anyone can improve their learning of anything—from very technical, to very artistic) by applying the techniques they present. (This is a very skeletal explanation. Take a peek at the course outline and contents. Be prepared to be energized!)

I downloaded all sections and reviewed them, outlined them, thought about them and used them, to re-energize me. I had hid an intellectual wall, and was basically stalled in neutral, stagnating.) I happened upon this course in the NY Times and was immediately curious. After diving in, I could
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The course was brilliantly done. From how a person receives input (sees it (visual), hears it (auditory), feels it/tries it/does it-hands-on (kinesthetic), to how a person perceives the input; the course describes in a very understandable way, how to harness the input by effectively using your ‘brain.’ Professors Oakley and Sejnowski describe how the brain works (focused mode & diffused mode; working memory and long-term memory; . . . ), and how anyone can improve their learning of anything—from very technical, to very artistic) by applying the techniques they present. (This is a very skeletal explanation. Take a peek at the course outline and contents. Be prepared to be energized!)

I downloaded all sections and reviewed them, outlined them, thought about them and used them, to re-energize me. I had hid an intellectual wall, and was basically stalled in neutral, stagnating.) I happened upon this course in the NY Times and was immediately curious. After diving in, I could not put the material down, but forced myself to take breaks to let my subconscious (diffuse mode) soak it in.

In closing, I have a Ph.D., in Economics, earned decades ago, have taught for over 20 years, and have consulted and taught on-site courses on risk and uncertainty assessment. This course has added a new set of skills I can use to more effectively present/teach and also learn.

I have recommended this course to friends, colleagues, students in high school, as well as parents who can enhance their children’s learning and excitement about learning.

Looking forward to taking more courses from these two outstanding teachers.

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5.0 3 years ago
Victoria Rodriguez audited this course.
This course far exceded my expectations. All of the material was extremely helpful not only from the theoretical but from the practical point of view.

14 people found
this review helpful
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5.0 8 months ago
by Hugo Angulo completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
At the very beginning the course seemed somehow easy and pretty basic. Nonetheless, once that you start understanding the biological reason about how and why we learn, you get the feeling that this course will definitively change your life. And that is exactly what has happened to me. Before this course I had the illusion that what I was doing was normal, I mean the way in which I was accustomed to learn. However, I had that sense that something was wrong with my approach. It turns out that my intuition was right because I was completely wasting my time while rereading or highlighting the material all the time, just to give you an example.

Additionally, I knew that procrastination could affect your life and your productivity in a way that you do not catch until you start getting anxious, for instance. Therefore a simple technique like the pomodoro, which I have been using during the last month, has been enormously beneficial for your studying and productivity.

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At the very beginning the course seemed somehow easy and pretty basic. Nonetheless, once that you start understanding the biological reason about how and why we learn, you get the feeling that this course will definitively change your life. And that is exactly what has happened to me. Before this course I had the illusion that what I was doing was normal, I mean the way in which I was accustomed to learn. However, I had that sense that something was wrong with my approach. It turns out that my intuition was right because I was completely wasting my time while rereading or highlighting the material all the time, just to give you an example.

Additionally, I knew that procrastination could affect your life and your productivity in a way that you do not catch until you start getting anxious, for instance. Therefore a simple technique like the pomodoro, which I have been using during the last month, has been enormously beneficial for your studying and productivity.

Furthermore, there are some techniques like the memory palace, or the use of metaphors and analogies that will definitively ease your job while learning any subject.

Apart from that, understanding how your brain works and why you have certain behavior under certain circumstances, will change the way that you process any new information and it will boost your cognitive abilities up.

Please, give it a try, then you will understand what I have written here.

Learning how to learn, in my opinion, is a must, not an option.

Happy journey.
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