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There is a coursera course called "Learning How to Learn"[1] by Barbara Oakley that is starting soon. I took the previous session and it was very interesting. I liked the science[2] behind each part of the course (procrastination, memory, modes of thinking etc). The weekly interviews were certainly a big plus (however they were usually long at ~40 minutes).

It's a fun four week course with very little work and I recommend it.

[1] https://www.coursera.org/course/learning

[2] After each lecture there was a list of references to check out for more info.




If I were to pick one part of that course to share it would be the explanation of how long term memories are formed through practice (1-6 Introduction to Memory).

Knowing how something actually works, and knowing precisely how my actions achieve the desired result is important to me. I'm very skeptical of study techniques, and more interested in the underlying physiology that I am trying to manipulate.

Long-term potentiation (LTP) "is widely considered one of the major cellular mechanisms that underlies learning and memory."[1]

Spaced Repetition[2] and Spaced Learning[3] at techniques directly designed around LTP.

The course content is locked, but there is a fantastic paper that gives a thorough overview of what we know about the behavior of memory[4], as well as a video series by the principle author[5] linked below.

This is kind of my thing. Please let me know if you are interested in learning more, or if you know of additional sources you'd recommend I check out.

[1]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-term_potentiation

[2]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaced_repetition

[3]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaced_learning

[4]http://bjorklab.psych.ucla.edu/pubs/RBjork_EBjork_1992.pdf

[5]http://www.gocognitive.net/interviews/spacing-improves-long-...


I have found Part II of Luc Beaudoin's book "Cognitive Productivity"[1] to be very interesting. It presents a theory of learning using a "mindware" model in which learning is the purposeful instilling of mindware[2]. His core strategies for "instilling mindware" include deliberate practice and repetition. I'm no expert in this field, but I've found Beaudoin's model to be helpful in understanding why deliberate practice works--it helps develop the "monitors" we need to recognize when knowledge is applicable, the "motivators" to push us to do something about it, and the knowledge itself. I don't know how widely accepted his theories are, or if there are other accessible sources, but I've found the book to be very useful in thinking about how I learn.

[1] https://leanpub.com/cognitiveproductivity/

[2] a term coined by David Perkins, who provides some of the foundation upon which Beaudoin builds his theories: http://www.gse.harvard.edu/faculty/david-perkins (see also http://amzn.com/089859863X)

Other sources commonly cited by Beaudoin include Carl Bereiter, K. Anders Ericsson, Keith Stanovich, Phillip Ackerman, and Aaron Sloman. I hope this provides as much fodder for you as it has for me :).


> The course content is locked

Actually, you can view both previous sessions. I am not sure if you can do it without previously registering for the course since I registered for both previous sessions. I am sure though that you have to login to view the content. Here are the urls:

Session 2: https://class.coursera.org/learning-002

Session 1: https://class.coursera.org/learning-001


I did this course in August and found it extremely valuable. We recently published an extended review [1] of of the course.

https://www.class-central.com/report/review-learning-how-to-...


I didn't do the coursera course but her book [A Mind For Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science](http://www.amazon.com/Mind-Numbers-Science-Flunked-Algebra-e...) change my way of thinking when it comes to learning, which I had read it sooner.


What a great reference! Awhile back I wrote down "learning to learn" as one of my outside-work goals and didn't really know how to approach it. It seems like a force-multiplier for everything you can do - I look forward to the course!


Thank you. I am embarking on a course of independent study which I expect to last for a year to four, and I have a feeling that this course will pay for itself in both time, effort, and increased understanding.




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