Cheery Friday Greetings from Learning How to Learn! May 27, 2016

10th January 2017

Cheery Friday greetings to our Learning How to Learners!

Barb on Quora!

One of Barb’s favorite “diffuse mode” pastimes is reading questions and answers on Quora. To her delight, she’s been asked to take questions in a session that is running on June 3rd. Go here to post questions for her!

Help Translate Learning How to Learn to Your Favorite Language

Do you speak a language other than English and love Learning How to Learn? Join Coursera’s Global Translator Community—the “GTC”—to help translate this course into other languages! To join the GTC, click here. Once you’ve joined, click here to begin translating this course! The GTC has recently been simplified and streamlined—we think you’ll be very happy with what you find! If you’re already a Transifex user, here are docs that can assist with the transition to the new interface. If you do have any troubles getting into Learning How to Learn, please email Barb at and she’ll make sure you can get started.

Improving Your Test Taking

Retiree Steve Batty took Learning How to Learn earlier this year and shared its concepts with a close friend—a chemist by education who builds and maintains a water and soil testing company’s computer systems. Steve’s friend is also a Microsoft Certified Engineer and is studying to take the Certified Microsoft 2012 server exam. Steve related to his friend our suggestion that when you run across a test question you can not solve, you should move on and then come back to it after you have reached the end of the exam questions. Steve also told his friend why this can help. Steve notes that his friend “has done that in his last several practice exams and it has allowed him to improve his scores by 15 to 20 per cent. He marveled at how, when he returned to the tough questions most of the time, the correct answer was obvious to him.” The “hard-start jump-to-easy technique,” which we discuss in week 4 of the MOOC, really does work!

In his retirement, Steve has put together a nice blog that compiles great information on neuroplasticity in a way that anyone can learn more about this fascinating topic. Enjoy!

Great info on MOOC-taking and MOOC-making from Class Central!

Class Central, our favorite all-knowing MOOC watcher, has published a fantastic series that help with various aspects of MOOCs and learning. The first article is “ Can Learning Help with Mental Health Conditions?”–a terrific article by our very own Lead Mentor on Learning How to Learn, Rebecca Judd. The second article is “MOOC Motivation Hacks: 30 Tips and Tricks to Keep You On Task.” LHTL is in #27. These sounds tips will really help.

Class Central’s great articles culminate in a three part series describing the differences between MOOCs and books: “Which Will Win: MOOC vs. Book? (Part 1 of 3).” The second part, “MOOC vs. Book – Part 2: Complementary Learning Channels,” features a discussion with Barb about how her book A Mind for Numbers helped with construction of Learning How to Learn.

Next week, Professor Raj Raghunathan, author of the intriguing book If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy?, will describe the rather different relationship of how his book helped with the development of his MOOC. (Raj, a.k.a. Dr. Happy Smarts, has done the upbeat A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment MOOC.)

Consciousness and Humor—Books of the Week

We’re always very interested in consciousness as one of the most integral aspects of learning. One of the best—and most colorfully beautiful—books we’ve ever read on consciousness is Phi: A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul, by Giulio Tononi. This wonderful book blends art with science in a way that metaphorically advances your understanding of consciousness–no straight research book could ever do as well.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for the funniest, most uplifting career advice around, How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life, by Scott Adams. From the very beginning, we were riveted—will Adams’ voice freeze in terror in front of a massive audience? Adams’ many disastrous, hilarious failures en route to great success give hope for us all.

That’s all for now. Have a happy week in Learning How to Learn!

Barb, Terry, and the entire Learning How to Learn team

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