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Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential

McMaster University via Coursera


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Mindshift is designed to help boost your career and life in today’s fast-paced learning environment. Whatever your age or stage, Mindshift teaches you essentials such as how to get the most out of online learning and MOOCs, how to seek out and work with mentors, the secrets to avoiding career ruts (and catastrophes) and general ruts in life, and insights such as the value of selective ignorance over general competence. We’ll provide practical insights from science about how to learn and change effectively even in maturity, and we’ll build on what you already know to take your life’s learning in fantastic new directions. This course is designed to show you how to look at what you’re learning, and your place in what’s unfolding in the society around you, so you can be what you want to be, given the real world constraints that life puts on us all. You’ll see that by using certain mental tools and insights, you can learn and do more—far more—than you might have ever dreamed! This course can be taken independent of, concurrent with, or subsequent to, its companion course, Learning How to Learn. (Mindshift is more career focused, and Learning How to Learn is more learning focused.)


  • Change IS possible
    • In today's world, change is the only constant. This means that whatever stage you are in life, you need to keep yourself open and able to change. How can you do this? In three ways: Learn more about your hidden capabilities and assets. Learn more about learning effectively. Learn about matching your assets with the opportunities that face you. In this week, we'll dive into these three important areas!
  • Getting Deeper into Happy Learning
    • Key to your ability to mindshift is being able to learn effectively. This week, we’ll dive deeper into this vital area. Getting yourself motivated to tackle procrastination can sometimes be a challenge in learning, so we’ll give you some important tips here. But we’ll also give insights into mental tricks to help you focus, relax, and reframe if stress intrudes. We’ll also show you how to avoid common learning pitfalls. Welcome and enjoy!
  • Learning and Careers
    • This week, we’ll be talking about how your own career can develop and change through your life. Your own internal feelings about what you want to do can play a critical role in your long-term happiness. But society and culture can also have a dramatic effect on your career choices and decisions—as can your parents, family, and friends. We’ll talk about second-skilling yourself, and developing a talent stack of average talents that can combine into a formidable asset. We’ll also talk about various tactics and techniques to help you survive career changes and upheavals. Welcome and enjoy!
  • Adopting a Learning Lifestyle
    • In this final week of the course, we'll be exploring how and why to keep yourself in "mindshift" mode. We'll give you all sorts of insider tips on how to pick out the best online learning with materials that are right for you. And we'll also talk about other ways of learning—ways that can make you "the smartest person in the room." Disruption lies ahead in the world—this week, we'll help you seize the advantage. Off we go for our final week of Mindshift!

Taught by

Dr. Barbara Oakley and Dr. Terrence Sejnowski


4.8 rating, based on 7,845 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at Coursera based on 12705 ratings

Start your review of Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential

  • Beth Tiozzo
    As I read others statement about this Mooc, I really felt that there was a lack of helpful criticism. Barbara knows she is good. You can't get better than #1. What she needs to get better still is to be aware of where she can improve. So here is w…
  • Anonymous
    This is the first course I take under the topic Mindshift. As a non-native speaker of English I found the course easy to understand. The course has covered many concepts that meant a lot to me, which I took time to analyse and deeply think about an…
  • Christopher Hawley
    I have no complaints whatsoever regarding this course or the previous one, 'Learning How to Learn'. As an English language teacher of business people, doctors, nurses, entrepreneurs and executives in São Paulo, Brazil, I have a good reputation for…
  • Jennifer Boyer
    I took Mindshift immediately after taking Learning How to Learn, and both courses are taught by the same instructors. Some of the material in Mindshift repeats topics in Learning How to Learn, but I found the repetition helpful for reinforcing the…
  • Profile image for Sharifa Hainie Dacula
    Sharifa Hainie Dacula @hdacula
    I like how this course refreshes what I had learned in the "Learning How to Learn" which makes the material even stick to me. I also really liked the interview with Adam Khoo (I gained a lot of tips right there). Also, Nelson Dellis's memory tips were super helpful. Overall this course is worth completing!
  • Profile image for Loc Le
    Loc Le
    I completed this course for nearly half 1 year. And in this course want to review what I feel. So I write some lines. In this course, the content lies during 4 weeks: + Week 1: Change is focused. + Week 2: Getting Deeper into Happy Learning. + Week…
  • This course was very interesting to take. I took it right after taking the 'Learning How to Learn' MOOC and some of the content from there was repeated in this course, however, the way the content was introduced felt novel and I didn't skip over content thinking 'I know this already.' I was also reading the book alongside taking the course which I find helped to enhance the course. Again, content mentioned in the course is repeated in the book, but personally I find that things stick better when I hear them more than once so I didn't find this to be much of an issue. Would definitely take more courses created by Barbara Oakley!
  • Excellent MOOC, excellent Instructor great content overall. The instructor was clear, precise and concise in presenting and delivering the material. The material was great, great insights backed by research, and quiet a few mindset shifts for me.…
  • Very interesting course will help you shift your way of thinking and learning , you will discover new tools and features very helpful and productive to use in your real life whatever practical or personal life including the types of learning and dirty tricks of MOOCs you will enjoy the course very much.
    Thank you Dr. Barbara Oakley and Dr. Terrence Sejnowski
  • Anonymous
    This is the first course I take under the topic Mindshift. As a non-native speaker of English I found the course easy to understand. The course has covered many concepts that meant a lot to me, which I took time to analyse and deeply think about and…
  • This course is really interesting and also effective in many ways. It lets you know abut mind brain psychology and about many scenarios that how our mind take things and operate in different situations and how we increase our productivity and ability to tackle things and situations.
  • It is a very entertaining course, it uses metaphors to understand better concepts and help me see my disadvantage as an advantage. It is well explained and easy to understand and both of the professors are very engaging.
  • This course provides you with insights about how to learn more and learn better and more efficiently .It is useful for both students and professionals
  • Sarah Joyce
    Loved this course! As always, Doctors Oakley and Sejnowski knocked this one out of the park. I marked the difficulty as Medium, but I worked very hard to try and make sure I could apply it to my life. If you don't work as hard on that, you could pro…
  • Profile image for Nicole Janks
    Nicole Janks
    This course has helped debunk ideas I had about myself and my learning style that were very negative. I learned that being a 'slow learner' has it's advantages. I learned that my gut feel has always been right - well-meaning friends or family encour…
  • Monika Reuter
    There are three issues I had with this course: the instructors and the material are truly inspiring. 1) What is really bad is that there is no separation between the people who currently take the class, and the people who have taken this class in…
  • Beneficial course, instructors were informative, humorous and clear in their lectures and explanations. Quizzes were slightly too simplistic, and I would have like more hands on assignments in order to increase my learning potential and information retainment, but for a free introductory course this was top notch! Thank you Barbara, Terry, and all those involved in creating this MOOC!
  • Profile image for Ciprian Zetea
    Ciprian Zetea
    It was a valuable experience going through this course. It helped me start moving with less fears towards next step in career while understanding that a broader approach to passions can work much better than a fixed "follow-your-passion" mindset.…
  • Anonymous
    Buenas tardes mi nombre es Carlos Humberto Gomez Gomez soy de Medellín Colombia me encantas estos curso ya que para mi son un reto de aprendizaje para toda la vida la experiencia en este curso de aprender y mirar las posibilidades que tenemos lo…
  • Robyn Bole
    As an adult learner, I was intimidated by the idea of going back to school. I struggled when I was a high school student and through what I did in college 20 years ago. Learning has just never been easy because I was just bored and could not fo…

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