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Learning How to Learn

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 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.) A related course by the same instructors is Uncommon Sense Teaching. 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: To join the fully translated French version of the course, visit :

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Rating 4.8 based on 20,893 ratings
Length 5 weeks
Effort about 3 hours of video, 3 hours of exercises, 3 hours of bonus material
Starts Jun 26 (49 weeks ago)
Cost $49
From University of California San Diego, McMaster University, Deep Teaching Solutions via Coursera
Instructors Dr. Barbara Oakley, Becca Judd, Dr. Terrence Sejnowski, Linda Walker, smith, sanbha, Barbara Oakley
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Subjects Programming
Tags Computer Science Software Development Personal Development

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What people are saying

learning how to learn

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.

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.

Learning How to Learn is a great course that will change the way you think of learning and memorizing concepts.

Well, to be honest, I didn't even know that there was such a course in Coursera about Learning How to Learn.

Learned cool things on learning how to learn, the interviews with awesome people were inspiring.

Ironically, given the subject: 'Learning how to learn - ' the presentation style was patronising and uninteresting to say the least.

I'm sure there is some interesting stuff buried in there but there must be more engaging ways of 'learning how to learn'!

This course of Learning how to Learn from the University of San Diego has taught me some very efficient learning techniques!

That oversight has been corrected, to a degree, with Learning how to Learn.

I cannot be thankful enough to the team of learning how to learn to prepare such a great course, this has broken down any wall of doubts i still had about "can i really study" ?

I would recommend Learning How to Learn to anyone and everyone regardless of educational experience as the methods taught in this course can be applied to every aspect of one’s life.

So thank you very much for this wonderful time spent learning some things about myself and simply for learning how to learn.

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memory palace

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.

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.

I learned so many interesting things about how our brain works and I immediatly started to use the "Memory Palace Technique" which is really brilliant.

I've taken this course multiple times and am currently working on creating a memory palace for the facts that Dr. Oakley shared.

I learnt many new concepts in the process of learning which I heard for the first time - like chunking, interleaving, einstellung, and memory palace.

My Memory Palace is set with 63 places in which I can place something I want to remember.

I especially love the Memory Palace technique and I still remember lists I memorized weeks ago!

It would be easy for example to to have people memorize a 20 item grocery list using Memory Palace or delight students with fun and clever metaphors to teach a rather complicated scientific concept.

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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better late than never

I would have been much better off had this course come into my life at a younger age, however, better late than never.

Better late than never.

But better late than never.

Better late than never !!

Anyhow, better late than never as I always say.

I wish I had done this code when I was in school or when I slogged during my grad school, but better late than never!

As the quote says "Better late than never".Cheers....Vishnu 不错 This is a really awesome course teaching us lot of tit bits on making our brain work better.

Better late than never I suppose.

Had I known I would be working for NASA and I mean this .But as the saying goes "better late than never".Dr.

Honestly, I wish I had taken this course a long, long time ago, but it's better late than never.

But, hey - better late than never!

But better late than never, I still have plenty of time to learn bunch of stuff.

But anyway, it's better late than never.

Better late than never I am grateful I have had the opportunity to study this course.

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es un excelente curso

ES UN EXCELENTE CURSO LLENO DE GRANDES TECNICAS QUE TE AYUDAN A MEJORAR ACADEMICAMENTE Muito bom curso para melhorar os estudos Muy interesante, práctico, bien estructurado.

Es un excelente curso para comprender mejor el proceso de aprendizaje y la neurociencia.

Very useful and easy to understand Es un excelente curso, sin duda alguna lo recomiendo.

Es un excelente curso para cualquiera, sin duda los conocimientos adquiridos tendrán un impacto significativo en la vida diaria, aumentar la productividad al aprender temas nuevos a la vez que la retención de los mismos.

Es un excelente curso.

介绍的学习方法适用于所有学科,所有方法都有理论基础,还有一些学习达人的现身说法。既能让你了解学习方法,又会激励你使用这些课程。总之,《Learning how to learn 》是非常好的课程。 aprendí valiosas herramientas que me ayudaran ahora y en el futuro Es un excelente curso, fácil de entender, con muchos beneficios si se aplican sus enseñanzas.

Es un excelente curso, muy sencillo ee comprender y muy práctico Great course!

Es un excelente curso con muchas recomendaciones prácticas Great course!

!It's perfect course you can take at Coursera Es un excelente curso, muy recomendable.

Es un excelente curso aunque para mi, presenta un inconveniente muy importante, que es con respecto a los exámenes, ya que cuando lo copio en el traductor de google pierden el sentido y se me hace muy difícil entender el sentido del texto, podrían por favor, ponerlo en español para que los que no somos tan conocedores del idioma ingles, podamos sacar mejor notas... Excelente!

Es un excelente curso, que no solo ayuda a aprender mejor y técnicas de aprendizaje, sino también a aumentar muestra autoestima del aprendizaje.

Es un excelente curso, recomendado para que las destrezas aumenten Excelente!!

Amazing and to usefulThanks Fun class; thanks for the info :-) Debo decir que es un excelente curso, con dos excelentes profesores.

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native english speaker

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.

+ 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.

Very helpful for me, but I found difficult to do the test that not the native English speaker.

Easy to follow, even for a non-native english speakers.

The lecturer is so precise with her explanations, therefore any non-native english speakers would understand it at all.

Tried it out as a non native English speaker (I'm French) firstly to check my English skills and secondly because I had heard of such techniques.

The course is given in a very clear and well-structured way, using metaphors and is easily understandable (even for non-native English speakers, like me).

A great course for me to grasp a lot of techniques surprisingly, although some knowledges that related to brain neuron were quite difficult to me especially because I am not a native english speaker, the whole course still blew me away so much.

The examples provided are rich and have allowed me to get to know great men very beneficial course, easy for none-native English speaker.

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computer science I took the course as I was having difficulty digesting some computer science and programming concepts.

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.

For example, in my case, I did telecom training, but today I work in the field of computer science Extremely helpful though short course giving a chance to learn to people who have problems with concentration, procrastination and mastering new subjects and techniques.

I wasn't sold on the idea of doing a soft science course because I usually do computer science related stuff.

Keep up the good work!PS: really liked the interviews with the computer science and language learning hackers (so motivating to see that people can have that sort of motivation and discipline to learn on their own, and bring to light resources that are in most part available to everyone) Clear, easy and effective course, some very usefull tips and inspiring, enlightening interviews.Really appreciated the teatchers and the overall course.

This year I am finishing my Masters degree in Computer science.

I'm sure I would have had more confidence and would have learned more deeply both several of the advanced mathematics subjects during my computer science studies at the university as well as in various other subjects earlier at school.Among all of the great ideas presented in the course I would like to highlight the idea that you have just four or so short term memory slots available to your focused thinking as something that I think would be very motivating for anyone not to give up complex subjects.

And I become more confident to conquer other fields of hard science such as statistics and computer science.

As a computer science undergraduate in college, these mental tools are very useful and students of other fields can benefit as well, from humanities to business and beyond.

As a result of taking this course ... consistently scoring great marks on the quizzes ( confirming that I am smarter than my internal critic was allowing me to think) ... Last week (after a perfect score on the Week 3 Quiz), I enrolled in a Computer Science course at our local university.

I just completed this course, and all I can say is, I wish I had taken it prior to starting my Master's Degree in Computer Science (which I also just completed).

I would have certainly aced my undergrad if I have taken this course prior to doing my computer science degree!

Unfortunately for me, this is simply high level comprehension, and I barely made it through college, receiving my Computer Science degree, after breezing through high school.

I'm studying a lot of concepts and programming for Data Science, which include statistics, computer science, business knowledge etc.

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ha sido

En lo personal ha sido un excelente curso, considero que el contenido descrito en el curso es fundamental para cualquier campo del conocimiento.

Me ecantó el curso, ha sido muy útil para improvisar mis métodos de estudio, me ayudó orientarme en cómo poder hacer mi propia guía de estudio, incluso con un amigo que estudia lo mismo que yo.

Me ha sido de mucha utilidad, me gusta mucho aprender, y este curso me ha dado muchas herramientas para hacerlo más eficaz y eficientemente, aún sin haberlo terminado (por cuestiones de tiempo porque mientras termino mi carrera universitaria, pero lo terminaré y lo repetiré para reforzar los conocimientos adquiridos).Gracias.

这门课简单介绍了一些经典的学习方法,算个基础通识课,但是如果要深入学习背后的原因的就有所欠缺。 Useful information to help me learn Ha sido un excelente curso, que me ha dado las bases para mejorar en mis estudios, he aprendido herramientas prácticas y consejos que me van a ayudar a lo largo de mi carrera profesional y también en mi vida personal.Recomiendo tomar este curso antes que cualquier otro.Gracias Amazing class!

Learning How to Learn ha sido una de las experiencias más enriquecedoras en mi vida, tanto para mi desarrollo personal como para mi vida como eterno estudiante.

Esta excelente, me ha sido de gran ayudar para aprender muchas cosas que tenia pendiente This is a great course and I highly recommend it to anyone who is getting ready to begin a new learning path.

Ha sido toda una experiencia refrescante y me ha ayudado muchísimo a ver más allá de lo normal.

Ha sido muy enriquecedor y he aprendido cosas que pienso que me serán útiles en el futuro.

Comprender en qué consiste, qué detona y cómo vencer la procrastinación ha sido de gran ayuda también, así como los consejos acerca de la memoria.

Ha sido muy útil, todo bien explicado y lo recomiendo.

Ha sido un Curso de muy elevado nivel.

Un muy buen curso, les agradezo mucho el haber realizado el mismo, esto ya que me ha sido de mucha utilidad en mi aprendizaje.Saludos great course Very nice things to improve your learning Pretty low level, but has good energy and can give useful all around info.

Ha sido muy satisfactorio hacer el curso y he aprendido cosas que pueden serme útiles en el futuro im very happy because this course was the first one i had taken .

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god bless

God bless!

God bless you both!

Thanks for such a beautiful guide, God bless!

May god bless them with happiness and health.

God Bless Everyone :) Absolutely fantastic course!

God bless you.I am looking forward for more courses from you.

You have changed me, and I am sure you changed the other persons who studied here.Greetings, and God bless you!

You all are great, God Bless!

God Bless, from Eric Lee, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Excelente curso.Brinda técnicas efectivas para mejorar el aprendizaje.

Thank you and God bless you.

Much love & God bless you.

God bless you.

And the vision of being a free course with this helping many people around the World, Again Thank you very much and God bless you all loved it!!

May God bless all of you with abundance.

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como funciona el cerebro

Es un buen curso, en el puedes ver como funciona el cerebro y aprender técnicas que te ayudaran a aprender.

Muy bueno te da unos tips de como aprender, ademas de que te enseña de como funciona el cerebro, lo que te permite optimizar la forma de aprender Excelente!

Estoy en el cuarto video y todo me parese coerente y con datos precisos de como funciona el cerebro con respecto a la memoria.Saludos cordiales.José Woderful and useful even though this is my first attended course on this website, i really addict to this fascinating course.

Excelente curso a realizar en cualquier momento, pues siempre continuamos aprendiendo y conocer como funciona el cerebro y el proceso de aprendizaje facilita el método y la manera de continuar aprendiendo.

Tambien se aprende como funciona el cerebro en interacción con los nuevos conocimientos.

Curso estupendo a realizar en cualquier momento, pues conocer como funciona el cerebro y el proceso de aprendizaje facilita la manera de aprender y ver la evolución personal This was really helpful.

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imposter syndrome

Struggle with Imposter Syndrome?

This is an excellent course for anyone who is new or returning to learning, and especially those with a strong Imposter Syndrome who know that they can learn but find it very hard and don't understand why!

very informational and helpful for my constant and longlasting procrastination, new insight on the brains ability to store information and the processes involved, and also in overcoming my imposter syndrome all the concepts to learning how to learn!

Illusion of competence and Imposter Syndrome are two phases that is very importance for me to better know myself .

It's an amaizing course with a great benefit and perfect instructor Dr BarbaraI recommend this course for any learner or student It was good to know areas like Illusions of competance, Einstellung, Imposter Syndrome etc.It will help course takers to become aware of the problems in learning.Thanks to the instructor in visually explaining the concepts and for including interviews with field experts as part f this course!

Taking this course helps to unlock using our brains more effectively and remove the “imposter syndrome” when we are trying to learn “hard” things.

Before taking this course I didn't know about many concepts like procrastination and imposter syndrome, I discovered more about myself, my flaws and weaknesses and thanks to this course I know how to improve my learning path.

This course is a must have to those who has an imposter syndrome or/and curently is stressed out.

It also helps students overcome common problems such as procrastination and imposter syndrome.

You even addressed many of the challenges people normally face and demystified it all - Einstellung and Imposter Syndrome for example.

It was really useful to learn for example about the imposter syndrome -- it helped me a lot with my insecurities.

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friendly presenter whose videos

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).

Barbara Oakley is a warm and friendly presenter whose videos make a potentially dull subject fun and enjoyable.

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potentially dull subject fun


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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Rating 4.8 based on 20,893 ratings
Length 5 weeks
Effort about 3 hours of video, 3 hours of exercises, 3 hours of bonus material
Starts Jun 26 (49 weeks ago)
Cost $49
From University of California San Diego, McMaster University, Deep Teaching Solutions via Coursera
Instructors Dr. Barbara Oakley, Becca Judd, Dr. Terrence Sejnowski, Linda Walker, smith, sanbha, Barbara Oakley
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Subjects Programming
Tags Computer Science Software Development Personal Development

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