I have just finished week 1 of the Coursera Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) “Mindshift”. This is a follow-up course done by the same lecturers (Barbara Oakley and Terrence Sejnowski ) of the world’s most popular MOOC “Learning How To Learn”.
I have taken “LHTL” twice and it is quite simply the best MOOC that I have ever taken. I think that it had the advantage of the presenter/lecturers Barbara and Terry who come across as friendly, informative and humorous and it has an excellent set of videos that were designed to be informative as well as entertaining. There are the usual Coursera tests and the assignments are peer reviewed. There is also an excellent online discussion forum where other students often make useful suggestions for videos and links to books and articles.
Week 1 of Mindshift has proven to be an improvement on the high standards of LHTL. Barbara has created some excellent videos that have moved on from her initial attempts in the first MOOC. I particularly like the way she visually represents metaphors and concepts. She takes the lion’s share of presenting the videos although the one video input from Terry about environments for learning is excellent.
Barbara has written a book called “Mindshift” to accompany the MOOC. This follows her earlier book “A Mind For Numbers” which accompanied LHTL. In the present MOOC she has managed to put into some of the videos interviews that she did with students of LHTL from all over the world where they talk about how they have changed their approaches to learning after taking the course.
Overall the original MOOC and the present one are well worth taking if you want to transform your approach to learning. It is also one of the best introductions to cognitive neuroscience that I have come across. I would recommend the courses and the books. Happy learning!