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

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8/10 stars
based on  25 reviews
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Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects

Course Details

Cost

FREE

Upcoming Schedule

  • TBA

Course Provider

Coursera online courses
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with yo...
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with your coursework. Coursera also partners with the US State Department to create “learning hubs” around the world. Students can get internet access, take courses, and participate in weekly in-person study groups to make learning even more collaborative. Begin your journey into the mysteries of the human brain by taking courses in neuroscience. Learn how to navigate the data infrastructures that multinational corporations use when you discover the world of data analysis. Follow one of Coursera’s “Skill Tracks”. Or try any one of its more than 560 available courses to help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

Provider Subject Specialization
Humanities
Sciences & Technology
4715 reviews

Course Description

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...
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.
Reviews 8/10 stars
25 Reviews for Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects

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Rankings are based on a provider's overall CourseTalk score, which takes into account both average rating and number of ratings. Stars round to the nearest half.

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Jeanne Boyarsky profile image
Jeanne Boyarsky profile image
4/10 starsCompleted
  • 33 reviews
  • 29 completed
4 years, 9 months ago
There were three weekly quizzes and a cumulative final. They were a good review. Some of the quiz answers changed between attempts which I like because you have to understand not just remember the answer. I was less than impressed with the two peer graded exercises. Maybe because it was a short course, but they were "what do you want to learn" and "show you learned something." Something about the class felt off. I'm not sure if it was because it isn't a technical class. Or because it was so short. I feel like there could have been an opportunity to apply some of the techniques. Like chunking or spaced repetition to actually learn the materials for the class.
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Student profile image

Student

10/10 starsTaking Now
3 years ago
Terry Sejnowaki sometimes sounds stressed out but Barbara Oakley is so reassuring in her manner of speaking that one wants to learn so many things after hearing her!
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Student

10/10 starsDropped
3 years, 2 months ago
Took it 2014. Hands down, best course ever. Dr. Oakley does a fantastic job teaching us how to learn. These are important lessons we all should know! There's a reason to why this is the single most popular MOOC ever. I believe it now
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Student profile image

Student

4/10 starsTaking Now
3 years, 6 months ago
i don t actually understand what is the instructor and also i am very weak in arabic subject . i always try saying that i will get good marks in arabic but i cant do it . i always try to motivate myself . i am really sad about this , i really need a powerful mental tool to study the subject arabic
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Student

8/10 stars
3 years, 10 months ago
This should be entitled 'best way to self-learn', since that is what this class is about. It teaches a lot of techniques and skills which is different from most MOOC. I learned a few new things, but most of it I had already knew. (To be fair, I don't know if the fact that I have post-graduate degrees had anything to do with the fact that I found the class more of a review than not.) I'm not sure what learner level it's aimed at but it seemed below the college level. It was very organized and well-presented and the concepts clear. Dr. Oakley's book and the recommended additional readings were golden for background info. It would be an excellent class for a undergraduate who really needs to know how to learn. I did it in a weekend, but I imagine most people spread it out over several weeks.
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Gautam Nayak profile image
Gautam Nayak profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
3 years, 11 months ago
This course is a must for anyone regardless of their work disciplines.It has been crafted well to suit audience of all ages.This course help us understand the common pitfalls in the way we try to learn and provides simple and effective guidelines to maximize our learning.
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Michael Farsan profile image
Michael Farsan profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 7 reviews
  • 6 completed
4 years ago
This is the best course that I have completed on coursera. Instructor barbara is full of life and energetic. I am a computer science student and have completed several other courses related to my subject on different platforms (edx,udacity etc) and this is the only non technical course that I have taken and it was worth of it.
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Richard Kirkpatrick profile image
Richard Kirkpatrick profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 6 reviews
  • 6 completed
4 years, 1 month ago
Overall, I was really pleased with this course. I learned some valuable tools for helping me to learn, which is a key part of my daily life and my job. One of the effective tools that I gained from this course was something called the Pomondoro technique, which is basically a technique for dealing with procrastination. Ever since I have learned about this, my procrastination has significantly decreased. They discussed other useful techniques like chunking, diffuse learning, and how exercise can increase your memory. The course work was not very challenging, which may lead some feeling unchallenged. However, the material in this course is very valuable, and would be very worthwhile for anyone that is learning any difficult subject material.
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Greg Hamel profile image
Greg Hamel profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 116 reviews
  • 107 completed
4 years, 6 months ago
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 qui... 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.
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Volker Hadamschek profile image
Volker Hadamschek profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 3 reviews
  • 1 completed
4 years, 6 months ago
Wonderful course. I was sceptic in the beginning that contents would be too blurry. But I was wrong. You get super-useful ideas and very, very inspiring methods delivered from different point of views. And all this on solid scientific, in particular neuro-biological background. What more can you expect from 4 weeks of easy-to- digest and colorful presentations, interviews, quizzes and assignments which are all thoughtfully created. This was the first Coursera course which demanded some money from me to get ANY kind of statement of accomplishment. What a great investment.
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Priscila Guimarães profile image
Priscila Guimarães profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 11 reviews
  • 10 completed
4 years, 7 months ago
I actually followed most, if not all, of the techniques and I saw the results immediately. Really, my grades in college improved so much. From 7 to 9.5, 10... It really works and it can help you a lot with your goals. I've recommended it to a couple friends since I finished it.
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WB profile image
WB profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 14 reviews
  • 14 completed
4 years, 5 months ago
I really enjoyed this course. It is very informative and I have applied what I have learnt in my daily life. The use of animations makes it very clear. The lecturers presented the course very well.
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Ayush Agarwal profile image
Ayush Agarwal profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 4 reviews
  • 4 completed
4 years, 5 months ago
This course is an extremely helpful course for anyone who wants to understand how to learn 'anything' effectively. The content basically draws from neuroscience, cognitive science and several research articles published across the web. Some of the additional interviews in the course were also very helpful. This course is not only helpful for students but for anyone who wants to gain knowledge of any subject. In my opinion, this course should be encouraged in schools as well.
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John Someone profile image
John Someone profile image
3/10 starsDropped
  • 1 review
  • 0 completed
4 years, 6 months ago
I didn't like this course at all. I think the most annoying part was the final project. I really hate these peer assessment things, but this one was the worst. One of my reviewers was pretty nasty, I looked at his project, turns out he's lifted it completely from the web, yet he failed me. Now I could resubmit my project, but thought nah it's a nonsense, I'll leave it to plagiarists like Sean... I got an MSc from learning how to study, this course taught me nothing useful.
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Panos Gr profile image
Panos Gr profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 5 reviews
  • 4 completed
4 years, 6 months ago
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 ... 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!!
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Justin C profile image
Justin C profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 2 reviews
  • 1 completed
4 years, 6 months ago
Fantastic Course. Barbara Oakley is engaging, the content is taught with humour, and overall the instructors practice what they preach by bothering to entertain the students. I enjoyed the peer assignments. They are not as clear as ones you would encounter in other courses, but the intention is so that you can be creative as you want to be, something that's often lacking in our education system. This is the best course I've taken to learn about learning.
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Rowena profile image
Rowena profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
4 years, 9 months ago
I did not know what to expect, but I have learnt a lot. The course is not difficult. You can use the theories and techniques that you learned in everything.
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Ehsan Bouhendi profile image
Ehsan Bouhendi profile image
5/10 starsCompleted
  • 3 reviews
  • 3 completed
4 years, 9 months ago
Course has some good topics, but there is a lot of repeataion, which makes it a bit boring. More over, it is mostly useful for student who wnats to learn for exam. For me that I want to improve my ability to learn new things ina busy life, this course was not that useful. The course could have been named 'Learn how to prepare for exam' rather than its current name.
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Dan Rooney profile image
Dan Rooney profile image
4/10 starsCompleted
  • 2 reviews
  • 1 completed
4 years, 8 months ago
I started this course but left after the first week because it was trivial, superficial and largely a waste of time - the first week took an hour to say what could have been said (without hurrying) in 5 minutes. It's all very lifehacker-ish tips on how to learn (served up with a portion of neurobollocks to make it all capital-s scientific) and if that's your thing (and judging by the comments on the course forum, that's exactly what thousands of people want) you'll be happy but if you want something not puddle-deep, you'll be disappointed. The person running the course has an accompanying book (equally frothy and easy to digest) and that seems to follow very closely the course so I suspect you could spend an hour or two reading the book and forget about the course entirely.
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Dianne Owens profile image
Dianne Owens profile image
7/10 starsCompleted
  • 30 reviews
  • 30 completed
4 years, 11 months ago
I learned a few new things during this course. It was a pleasant surprise given my previous exposure to the subject. The delivery may not appeal to some due to the style, but it does offer some excellent techniques for folks looking to improve their deep learning.
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Hannah Geene profile image
Hannah Geene profile image
3/10 starsCompleted
  • 3 reviews
  • 3 completed
4 years, 8 months ago
I kind of expected this class to be slightly more engaging than it is. Probably because I just kind of inferred from the title that it'd be more about how individual learning processes for each area work rather than all this general "one size" tricks that don't actually fit all (as proven if you look through the discussion boards) There have been some small insights in the lecture videos (though it's sometimes extremely hard to watch through them because they're a bit boring and sometimes feel like there's a lot of unneeded information crammed in to make a point that could have easily been summarized into probably a sentence most times) Still, since there are only two weeks left in the course and I'm obviously not getting anything to show for taking this flimsy piece on learning (I really should've gotten out on seeing the teacher mainly pitching their own book; which was pretty much on the class description) I'll probably just sit... I kind of expected this class to be slightly more engaging than it is. Probably because I just kind of inferred from the title that it'd be more about how individual learning processes for each area work rather than all this general "one size" tricks that don't actually fit all (as proven if you look through the discussion boards) There have been some small insights in the lecture videos (though it's sometimes extremely hard to watch through them because they're a bit boring and sometimes feel like there's a lot of unneeded information crammed in to make a point that could have easily been summarized into probably a sentence most times) Still, since there are only two weeks left in the course and I'm obviously not getting anything to show for taking this flimsy piece on learning (I really should've gotten out on seeing the teacher mainly pitching their own book; which was pretty much on the class description) I'll probably just sit back and just worry about the other online courses I'm in (they're much more interesting, anyway) I'll probably still do the work for this just to finish it, though.
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Jeff Winchell profile image
Jeff Winchell profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 91 reviews
  • 66 completed
4 years, 6 months ago
I find the standard course materials very interesting and the list of optional readings is so long it might take me a year to wade through them all. The peer assessment templates make it much easier for people to do a better job on peer assessments. The class is also experimenting with some software to make this much better (PeerStudio) but I'm not sure this tool is ready for prime time. But at least they are trying. Nearly every education class on Coursera now and in the future seems to have dropped the free statement of accomplishment offer and this one is no exception. At least one non-education class has also done that. So I don't know if it is appropriate to single out this class for punishment based on that. I like the extra work the professor has done to make even the interview videos more memorable. After the interview is done, she inserts images into the videos, related to the words the interviewee is speaking about, to buil... I find the standard course materials very interesting and the list of optional readings is so long it might take me a year to wade through them all. The peer assessment templates make it much easier for people to do a better job on peer assessments. The class is also experimenting with some software to make this much better (PeerStudio) but I'm not sure this tool is ready for prime time. But at least they are trying. Nearly every education class on Coursera now and in the future seems to have dropped the free statement of accomplishment offer and this one is no exception. At least one non-education class has also done that. So I don't know if it is appropriate to single out this class for punishment based on that. I like the extra work the professor has done to make even the interview videos more memorable. After the interview is done, she inserts images into the videos, related to the words the interviewee is speaking about, to build connections to the concepts. The quizzes and final seemed fairly easy.
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Dennis Horne profile image
Dennis Horne profile image
1/10 starsCompleted
  • 24 reviews
  • 23 completed
4 years, 11 months ago
This course teaches lifelong learning skills, and should act as a learning force multiplier for those who complete it.  It has the potential to be really useful especially for younger students as these skills are rarely taught at school.  It would get 5* for content, yet must have 0.5 for the above reasons. It is a pity that Coursera have chosen this one to enforce their new paid certificate model. I made it to the end, but without doing the quizzes or exercises. The two teenagers I had recommended look at this course gave up - no completion certificate, no motivation.
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Student profile image

Student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 11 months ago
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Vikash Shaw profile image
Vikash Shaw profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 4 reviews
  • 4 completed
3 years, 6 months ago
The intro seems to be promising and it's still to early to say much. However the topics taught are the things that almost everyone does every other day but really isn't sure if that is the right way to do it, this course explains those techniques based on scientific research. It's a great topic for anyone who is struggling to learn.
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