You'll learn how to:
What you'll get
- 4 hours of audio lessons
Proven strategies and techniques to improve your learning skills.
- Companion e-textbook
When listening isn’t an option, dig into this text-based PDF.
- Glossary of terms
Get up to speed on learning terminology.
- Curated resources
Save time searching. We’ve collected the best resources for you.
- Lesson summaries
Be reminded of the key things you’ve learned.
- Learning strategies
Discover the best ways to make learning stick for you.
- Self-care tools
Manage the stress that comes with learning a new skill.
- Goal tracker
Measure your progress as you make learning part of your daily routine.
- Action plan
Formulate a game plan to learn something new.
Experts in this course
- Julia FurlanJulia is an independent podcasting consultant, podcast host, and professor at The New School. Most recently, Julia hosted a series of podcasts for NPR and before that she was the head of the BuzzFeed News PodSquad. She has an MA from NYU in Journalism and Latin American Studies and has written and produced audio for outlets like WNYC, Latino USA, and Slate.
- Josh KaufmanJosh Kaufman is the best-selling author of books on business, entrepreneurship, skill acquisition, productivity, creativity, applied psychology, and practical wisdom. The First 20 Hours: How to Learn Anything… Fast! is an international bestseller, and his TED talk on rapid skill acquisition has been viewed over 17 million times.
- Rachel WuDr. Rachel Wu is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Riverside. She recently received a 5-year CAREER award grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate the role of learning new skills on cognitive and functional growth in adulthood.
- Peter C. BrownPeter C. Brown is co-author of the best-selling book Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning from Harvard University Press. Brown is a novelist, non-fiction writer, and retired management consultant living in St. Paul, Minnesota.
- Dr. Fuschia SiroisDr. Fuschia Sirois is a Reader in Health and Social Psychology at the University of Sheffield in the UK. Her research centers on understanding how psychological factors and qualities related to managing emotions and behavior confer risk or resilience for physical health and well-being related outcomes. These factors include procrastination and perfectionism on the risk side, and self-compassion and gratitude on the resilience side.
- Brigid SchulteBrigid Schulte is a journalist, think tank director, speaker, and author of the New York Times best-selling book on time pressure, gender, and modern life, Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time. She was an award-winning journalist for The Washington Post and The Washington Post Magazine for nearly 17 years and now serves as the director of the Better Life Lab—the work-life, gender equality, and family-supportive social policy program at New America, a non-partisan think tank.
- Yänjaa WintersoulYänjaa Wintersoul is a world-record-holding memory champion and a multi-hyphenate entertainer. She’s the star of multiple documentaries, TV shows, and commercials—including Sweden's Got Talent, an IKEA ad in which she memorized the entire 328-page catalog in a week, and, most recently, Netflix's The Mind: Explained with Emma Stone.
- David FreedmanDavid J. Freedman, PhD, is Professor of Neurobiology and Chair of the Graduate Program in Computational Neuroscience at The University of Chicago, where he has been a faculty member since 2008. His research laboratory studies the neural circuit mechanisms of higher cognitive functions such as learning, memory, and decision making. His laboratory is also working to translate our understanding of biological brain circuits to artificial neural networks in order to advance novel approaches in the field of AI.
- James TurkJames Turk is CEO of The Turk Group, based in New York City. For the last 15 years, James has delivered training and coaching solutions in the areas of leadership development, sales, change management, and customer care. As an executive coach, James has partnered with leaders all over the world including from BuzzFeed, Spotify, and Nike.
- Debbie ReberDebbie Reber is a parenting activist, New York Times best-selling author, speaker, and the founder of TiLT Parenting—a top podcast, community, and educational resource for parents raising differently wired children. Her newest book is Differently Wired: The Parent’s Guide to Raising an Atypical Child with Confidence and Hope.
- Trynia KaufmanTrynia Kaufman, MS, is the Senior Manager of Editorial Research at Understood, a non-profit supporting people who learn and think differently. She discovered her passion for the education field while directing a college prep program targeted toward youth in foster care. This led her to become a special education teacher, and she now writes about education issues and presents nationwide at conferences.
- 01IntroductionMeet your host, Julia Furlan, and preview the lessons you’ll learn from our experts.This lesson will introduce you to your host and give you a look at some of the physical, psychological, and career benefits to learning—at any age. You’ll discover how the learning process can:
- Decrease anxiety, increase energy, and boost your immune system
- Increase self-confidence and self-esteem
- Enhance your career with new skills
- 02Learning as an adultWhy you can learn new things at any age—and how to do it.This lesson puts to rest that old saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” It also teaches us why it’s still important for adults to continue learning the way that children do. You’ll learn from a professor of psychology how to:
3 practice activities and in-app resources to track your progress.
- Find a qualified teacher
- Embrace a growth mindset and push past mistakes
- Make a time commitment to learning
- Set realistic goals
- Learn multiple skills at the same time (and why you should)
- 03Strategies for successful learningExplore techniques from cognitive psychology to make your learning stick.This lesson will familiarize you with the science behind how your brain creates long-term memories. You’ll learn why cramming doesn’t work, and how to practice new skills so they stick by utilizing the following strategies:
2 practice activities and in-app resources to enhance the learning process.
- Active retrieval
- Spaced retrieval
- 04Learn fasterDiscover a proven method for learning almost anything in just 20 hours.In this lesson, you’ll hear from an author who wrote the book on learning faster. He’ll break down the steps, including:
2 practice activities and in-app resources to block distractions.
- Setting a specific goal
- Deconstructing it into sub-skills
- Doing research
- Removing barriers to practice
- Pre-committing to 20 hours of learning
- 05Conquer procrastinationUnderstand why you procrastinate and how you can do it less.This lesson explains why we procrastinate and familiarizes you with techniques to avoid doing so. You’ll learn that procrastination is actually an irrational decision and emotional response to negative feelings we have about a certain task. You’ll also learn the ultimate antidote: self-compassion. A psychology professor and procrastination researcher will teach you practical ways to stop putting things off and get to work.2 practice activities, in-app guided meditations, and self-compassion exercises.
- 06Fit learning into your scheduleHow to plan your practice to keep yourself accountable.In this lesson, you’ll learn why work-life balance is harder to achieve than ever. An expert author and think tank director will teach you proven ways to make time for learning, no matter how busy you are. You’ll learn strategies like:
2 practice activities and in-app time management tools.
- Time blocking
- Cutting out non-essentials
- Starting the week with a “brain dump”
- Using a timer
- Scheduling some slack
- 07Commit your learning to memoryLearn how to think like a memory champion.In this lesson, a memory champion will teach you how to remember anything, from names to passwords to foreign languages. You’ll also come away with a proven strategy for memorizing a lengthy list of items using what’s known as the “memory palace” technique.1 practice activity and in-app resources on memory techniques.
- 08Develop a learning mindsetExplore learning and development strategies to help you emotionally prepare to learn.This lesson teaches you how to prepare yourself for the challenge of learning. This process requires deliberate self-awareness, so a learning and development consultant will walk you through how to:
2 practice activities.
- Self-assess and figure out which learning styles work for you
- Set up a support system and find an accountability partner
- Persevere when you fail or make mistakes
- Continue using your new skills or knowledge in the real world
- Find ways to give back to your community using your skills
- 09Learning and thinking differencesUnderstand how you can succeed (or support someone) with a learning or thinking difference.In this lesson, you’ll learn about neurodiversity. One in five people have a learning or thinking difference, like ADHD or dyslexia. Our experts will teach you how to:
1 practice activity and in-app resources for further research on learning differences.
- Self-reflect to determine if you have a learning or thinking difference
- Advocate for yourself if you think or learn differently
- Support coworkers or team members to create an inclusive work environment
- 10The future of learningWhat might change about the way we learn—and what won’t.In this lesson, a neuroscientist will teach you how researchers are using machine learning and AI to understand more about the human brain. As science reveals more about how brains process information, you’ll learn that the future is filled with opportunities to improve your learning skills.1 practice activity and in-app resources for future courses.