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Learning How to Learn

Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects

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: To join the fully translated Spanish version of the course, visit: To join the fully translated Chinese version of the course, visit:

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University of California San Diego

Rating 4.8 based on 16,026 ratings
Length 5 weeks
Effort about 3 hours of video, 3 hours of exercises, 3 hours of bonus material
Starts Feb 11 (10 weeks ago)
Cost $49
From University of California San Diego, McMaster University via Coursera
Instructors Dr. Barbara Oakley, Becca Judd, Dr. Terrence Sejnowski, Linda Walker, smith, sanbha
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Tags Personal Development

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What people are saying

We analyzed reviews for this course to surface learners' thoughts about it

how to learn in 1206 reviews

A very useful course covering concepts behind how to learn effectively and efficently.

Learning How to Learn is a wonderful course for any student, education professional or lifelong learner.

Learning How to Learn is a 4 lesson self-paced course that summarizes key findings in neuroscience about how we learn.

If you're on this platform then learning how to learn will be interesting.

This course is about how to learn more effectively, no matter what you are trying to learn.

Learning how to learn is an important concept that we don't spend enough time thinking about.

+ Fun and useful, I liked the presenter's lighthearted style :) So far this is the best resource to start with learning how to learn that I found to this day.

It could sound counterintuitive to think we are still trying to learn on how to learn.

high school in 255 reviews

I honestly think every single person can benefit from this course, whether you are a high school student, an undergraduate, a graduate, or a person who is currently out of school.

I wish this program had been around when I was in college, or high school for that matter.

This should be included as part of the curriculum for high school student.

the course expose me to many things I did not get to know in high school and college.

While this course is geared toward high school and college students, I found a lot of new information around learning that I did not know, but would have loved to have known when I was taking tests that mattered to my future.

I used to learn when I was at school, at high school, and at the University.

I am 100% confident if you are high school student or a student starting college, these classes should be something you are taking in the summer ... avoiding summer brain fade and setting yourself up to get the most of your time and your parent's investment.

I'm a high school teacher of International Baccalaureate physics and math.

mind for numbers in 73 reviews

I also recommend Barbara Oakley book" mind for numbers".

Since the original book "A Mind for Numbers" written by Dr. Barbara Oakley came out some years ago alongside the other books and studies, if you have been highly interested in learning method you might see the ideas in this course whether via books or online like I did.

I got the books Mind for Numbers to revisit and deepen some of the concepts and strategies here and Fluent in 3 months, as my next undertaking is going to be learning Spanish, maybe not fluent in 3 months but enough to do one of the famous Caminos to Compostela next year.

The book, A MIND FOR NUMBERS, is an "extra" that I highly recommend for taking you deeper into the methods discussed in the course.

While I could not study the companion book "Mind for Numbers" in parallel to the course since I could not get hold of the book in time, I have the book now and am very sure that I must go through it to reinforce what I have learnt through the lectures, and make it stick.

I was completely lost and fumbling my way through my university education when I came across the book, 'A Mind For Numbers', by Dr. Oakley.

I am side by side following the the book "a mind for numbers" which helps me revise , strengthen and expand the knowledge and techniques I am learning from these videos.

If you're looking for free stuff that's amazing, this is basically a 12€ book (A Mind For Numbers) but free, and in video form in a decent platform such as Coursera.

memory palace in 30 reviews

I was fascinated by every video and hungrily ate up the information on neuroscience and the techniques regarding learning, including how to deal with procrastination, how to train your mind with visual imagery and the Memory Palace technique, the Pomodoro technique of shifting from diffuse to focused thinking, and so much more.

This is a superb and very relevant course.The techniques and concepts that are taught in the course are so helpful and will give you a better perception about learning any subject or discipline.From this course i have learnt that an individual can master anything as long as you apply yourself to some of the powerful mental tools that were disseminated through the course.I especially liked the Pomodoro technique,Deliberate Practice,chunking and Memory Palace techniques among others.

The entire course was structured to take advantage of the techniques that are communicated in the class (metaphor, memory palace, interleaving, mini quizes) and it reinforces the power of the tools that you are learning.

I've read a book about the memory palace, and I think the course could offer more detailed instruction about how to utilize it.

Though I have not applied the memory palace trick often yet.

After completing the course I'd love to go back to school and university, because now I realize that my study habits were all wrong: Too little time, not enough sleep & exercise, not enough breaks, not focused enough... You'll find many best practices, such as recall and memory palace in this course very familiar.

The Pomodoro techniques, Deliberate Practice, Chunking, how to avoid procrastination, Hard start easy jump , Memory palace were described in detail and would be useful for learning difficult topics later.

Concepts such as focused vs. diffuse thinking, chunking, and the memory palace technique helps me understand my own learning better and to study more efficiently.

muito bom in 17 reviews

Muito Bom mesmo o curso.

Muito bom!!!

Muito bom !

muito bom Excellent course on learning, very helpful.

Muito, muito bom.

Muito bom, traz vários insights de como aprender melhor no seu cotidiano!

muito bom mesmo!

Thank you for sharing your experiences and for the encouragement, Muito bom!

native english speaker in 13 reviews

This course is adapted for the understanding of non-native English speakers.

Also I started as a newby and as a non- native english speaker and I have to say that this course is very well to understand and vivid.

For a non native english speaker, I found this course very easy to go through.

+ lots of new English vocabulary, especially during last week (for non-native English speakers) + nice lecturers - lack of in-depth view; Dr. Sejnowski did some effort on subject, but still.

I learned how to learn in less than two months and Professors are so good at explaining I had no problem even if I'm not a native english speaker.

As a non native english speaker I have to say, this course is very very good.

Fun and easy to understand, even for non-native English speakers.

In Learning How to Learn ,I realize that I made so many mistakes in my sub I am not a native english speaker so please excuse the following.Every student should, at some early point of his cursus, learn this.It could avoid you some very frustrating failures along the way.At the very least, it will help you understand the setbacks as you come to face them.


An overview of related careers and their average salaries in the US. Bars indicate income percentile.

Learning Center Counselor $44k

Corporate Learning Administrator $49k

Translated Exam Program Administrator $57k

Registered Nurses Needed! JOIN OUR TEAM! $61k

Techniques (General) Engineer $70k

Adjunct Professor of Digital Media Techniques and Computer Graphic Design $70k

Fully Qualified Navy Validator (FQNV) $71k

Fully Qualified Navy Validator (FQNV) $71k

Learning and Development Executive $77k

Learning Resource Center Coordinator 3 $88k

Learning Specialist Manager 2 $99k

Senior Learning Solutions Advisor $120k


Sorted by most helpful reviews first

Guest says:

This course made me aware that I was using a lot of learning techniques already, so it was cool to see why they work. The subject matter is really interesting!

Guest says:

I wish I found out about this class sooner because I think it could have helped me in high school and uni. Still, I have a few exams coming up for work. Hopefully I can apply Dr. Oakley and Dr. Terrence's teachings to them.

Guest says:

Biology major with a focus on neuroscience checking in. Sometimes I get so buried in my textbooks, lab, and research, I forget how to apply what I'm learning about my brain to my own brain! Phew. I know, inception. This course was relatively easy for me. I imagine it will be for most people. Still, I'm amazed at how much I've actually learned. There are so many awesome "hacks" I could use to make the most of my study time. I also find I've gotten better at explaining concept topics in neuroscience by imitating how the instructors explain things to my non-bio peers. If my uni offered something like this it'd be called "Introduction to Applied Neuroscience".

Guest says:

Easily the best bang for my time. Very succinct, but deeply packed morsels of brain food. I wish there were more of these informative short MOOCs for every subject!

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University of California San Diego

Rating 4.8 based on 16,026 ratings
Length 5 weeks
Effort about 3 hours of video, 3 hours of exercises, 3 hours of bonus material
Starts Feb 11 (10 weeks ago)
Cost $49
From University of California San Diego, McMaster University via Coursera
Instructors Dr. Barbara Oakley, Becca Judd, Dr. Terrence Sejnowski, Linda Walker, smith, sanbha
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Tags Personal Development

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