ECEP VIRTUAL CAMPUS

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

Whether you are an outstanding or a struggling student, "Learning How to Learn" will give you powerful mental tools that will help you learn more effectively in tough-to-master subjects. You will discover practical, immediately useful insights that will help you to more deeply master your studies.

About the Course

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.

Course Syllabus

Learning How to Learn is meant to give you practical insight on how to learn more deeply and with less frustration. The lessons in this course can help you in learning many different subjects and skills. Whether you love language or math, music or physics, psychology or history, you'll have a lot of fun, and learn a LOT about how to learn virtually any subject!

This is a 4-week course. You may spend an hour or two watching the videos each week, or you may choose to dive deeper and complete a Verified Certificate or even a "with Distinction" honor. It’s all up to you! Although not required, we also encourage you to read the material on the week's topics in the book, A Mind for Numbers, where some of these ideas are explored more deeply. Incidentally, don't worry if you're not a "numbers" person, A Mind for Numbers is still for you, because it's a general book about learning.   

Every Friday at 12:00 PM EST, the weekly content will be posted for the weekend and the upcoming week. Here is an overview of the weekly topics for the course; 

Week 1 – Introduction: Focused versus Diffuse Thinking
Week 2 – Chunking
Week 3 – Procrastination and Memory 
Week 4 – Renaissance Learning and Unlocking Your Potential

By the end of the course, we expect you to be able to do the following:
  • Explain the difference between focused and diffuse modes of thinking. 
  • Explain what a chunk is, and how and why you can and should enhance your chunking skills.
  • Explain how working memory and long term memory differ from one another.
  • Describe key techniques to help students learn most efficiently such as: the Pomodoro, metaphor, story, visualization, deliberate practice, and interleaving.
  • Describe actions that hinder students from learning most effectively such as procrastination, over-learning, Einstellung, choking, multi-tasking, illusions of learning, and lack of sleep.
  • Describe the most important aspects of proper test preparation.
  • Explain the importance of “mindset” in learning.

Recommended Background

No background is necessary for this course, which is suitable for everyone from college and high school students to advanced professors in the social science, humanities, and STEM disciplines who wish to help their students learn better.

Suggested Readings

A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra), by Barbara Oakley (Foreword by Terrence Sejnowski), ISBN: 978-0399165245.

Although the lectures are designed to be self-contained, we recommend (but do not require) that students refer to this book, which covers the course material and adds depth.  Incidentally, don't worry if you're not a "numbers" person, A Mind for Numbers is still for you, because it's a general book about learning.  

A Mind for Numbers is available through Amazon USAmazon UK, and Amazon AustriaAustraliaBrazilCanadaChinaGermanyFrance
JapanItalyIndiaMexico
and Spain;  as well as Barnes & NobleIndiebound, through Flipcart in India, and in over 100 countries worldwide with free delivery through Bookdepository.

Course Format

The class will consist of several videos per week, which are generally between 5 minutes in length for lecture videos, and 10 to 20 minutes in length for interviews. These contain 1-2 in-video quiz questions per video. There will also be two peer-evaluated challenges, three quizzes and a final exam. Discussion forums and a "Talkabout" session are also important--and very fun!--parts of the course.

FAQ

  • What is the coolest thing I'll learn if I take this class?  You'll learn why focusing intently to solve a difficult problem can prevent you from being able to solve the problem! Discovering what's going on behind the neurological scenes can help you master new subjects in many different areas, from math and science to art, music, dance, sports, and literature.
  • What can I receive for completing this class? You can earn a Verified Certificate if you subscribe to the Signature Track.  Payment for Signature Track can be made anytime until the week before the course ends – so you’ll be more certain that you’ll earn your Verified Certificate. Note that registration to signature track must be done prior to completing quizzes or submitting assignments. 
  • Will I obtain a  statement of accomplishment if I am not on Signature Track but successfully complete all assignment? No.  Statements of Accomplishments will not be offered for this course, although if your grade is important to you, your final grade will be noted, so feel free to aim high if you would like!

  • What resources will I need for this class?For this course, all you need is an Internet connection and a bit of time to watch videos, read, discuss, and learn.