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

McMaster University via Coursera


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 7,156 Class Central reviews

4.8 rating at Coursera based on 11831 ratings

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

  • Beth Tiozzo

    Beth Tiozzo completed this course.

    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 what...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    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...
  • Christopher Hawley

    Christopher Hawley completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    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 being...
  • 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 relate...
  • Jennifer Boyer

    Jennifer Boyer completed this course.

    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 learning...
  • 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 3:...
  • Our environment is changing. We are changing too. That is life!
    But we are afraid of change. Change exposes us to uncertainty and risk.
    Learning how to adapt to the new environment is an art.
  • 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!
  • so helpful if before this course you watch the course " learning how to learn" is better. by the way, in this course, you learn how to use your weakness and make it to your advantage. also, this course learn you to focus better on your job, study or whatever you want .besides, you learn your hobby how can help you in developing yourself. thanks to barbara
  • A great and fun course where you can confirm that learning has evolved although we are still 'chained' to the traditional educational systems. It includes useful and practical techniques to understand the different ways of learning and how to improve it. I recommend it but keep in mind, that it will not be relevant for your life if you don't put it to practice.
  • very helpful in terms of providing practical tips to help you create a constant learning lifestyle!
    after reading Range and Think Again, this course was a good way to revisit some of the key points I earned from these books. I would recommend reading them.
    It's advised that you take the learning how to learn course before Mindshift.
  • Whatever your age and whatever your previous training, you want to be able to be flexible and open, and to be able to change and adapt in today's much more rapidly changing world.
  • Sarah Joyce

    Sarah Joyce completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.

    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 probably...
  • This is my second MOOC from professors Barb Oakley and Terry Sejnowski and their fun, focused style keeps content that can go deep and dense very quickly as an enjoyable and encouraging experience. Tests are made to reinforce concepts and ideas explained...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    I was going through a very tough time in my career. I was facing constant failures and had fallen completely in the trap of stress, anxiety and depression. I had lost track of how to learn and make significant changes in my behaviour to alter the faulty...
  • Profile image for Souradip Pal
    Souradip Pal
    This course(MOOC) was a good one. It provided some in-depth understanding about effective learning, second skilling, growth mindset. It taught me about the passion trap and how we shouldn't just blindly follow our passion. Changing the environment is...
  • Fue una excelente experiencia estoy poniendo en práctica el valor de la persistencia y la flexibilidad en el aprendizaje
  • Profile image for Nicole Janks
    Nicole Janks

    Nicole Janks completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.

    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 encouraging...
  • Monika Reuter

    Monika Reuter completed this course.

    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 the...
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Calibrated Rating: 4.80 stars I was very impressed with Dr. Oakley's course "Learning How to Learn" and I wanted to see what "Mindshift" was about. The course touches on some of the things that were talked about in "Learning How to Learn" but defines...

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