381: Better learning is today’s competitive advantage with guest expert Barbara Oakley

Barbara Oakley, author of Learn Like A Pro, Science-Based Tools to become Better at Anything

Bill Ringle and Barbara Oakley discuss the advantages that improved learning abilities give you and your people to add capacity to your business.

>>> Visit MyQuestforTheBest.com  for complete show notes and more expert advice and inspiring stories to propel your small business growth. My Quest for the Best is a top-rated small business podcast with over 300 episodes of thought-provoking and insightful interviews with today’s top thought leaders and business experts. Host Bill Ringle’s mission with this show is to provide the strategies, insights, and resources that will unlock the growth potential of your business through these powerful conversations.

MQ4B Booster 23.1 — High Performers set up their environment for success

Interview Insights

Top 3 Takeaways

  1. We are fortunate to live in a time when excellent online courses are available for learning and a teaching platform.
  2. Use the Pomodoro method to eliminate procrastination. Minimize distractions and focus on the task at hand for 25 minutes, then reward yourself for 5 minutes of relaxation. When you return to your next task, your brain will thank you with better focus, recall, and productivity.
  3. The assimilation of new ideas and new skills takes time to marinate. We just don’t scoop them up, dump them in our brains, and expect the best results despite how frequently people attempt to do just that.

Read the Show Notes from this Episode

  • Barbara’s Dad inspired her at key junctures in her career path. [01:07]
  • How Barbara, someone who hated mathematics growing up, became a prominent engineering professor and online instructor with over two million students worldwide. [03:23]
  • Business owners today don’t have to pause their careers to go back to university due to the abundance of online courses online. [07:38]
  • Why do we need to be cautious of people telling us that we don’t need analytic skills? [09:23]
  • Where and how to choose the best online courses. [10:38]
  • What makes online courses successful and effective? [13:04]
  • Barbara talks about bringing online courses to a higher level. [15:44]
  • An introduction to the Pomodoro technique. [17:35]
  • Developing work and productivity habits that allow us to be our best. [20:04]
  • How to stop procrastinating? [23:18]
  • My Quest for the Best lightning round begins. [25:36]

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Expert Bio

Dr. Barbara Oakley is a professor of engineering at Oakland University and McMaster University. Her online courses on learning are some of the most popular MOOC classes in the world and her research interests range from STEM education to learning practices.

With more than 2 million participants in the Coursera course thus far, Barb’s work proves that learners appreciate practical methods and materials grounded in research about how the brain learns.

She is based in Rochester MI and is here to talk about her book, A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra).

Contact Info and Social Media for Barbara Oakley

  • Travels from: Rapid City, SD

Resources Mentioned During the Interview

Below are key people, places, books, quotes, websites, and other resources that we discussed, so you can explore further.

Coursera Courses by Barbara Oakley – with top ratings by over 3 million students
Additional Resources
  • Andrew Ng – co-founder and head of Google Brain and was the former chief scientist at Baidu, building the company’s Artificial Intelligence Group into a team of several thousand people
  • Dr. Terrence Sejnowski, Francis Crick Professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies website | Coursera page
  • Pathological Altruism by Barbara Oakley (Editor), Ariel Knafo (Editor), Guruprasad Madhavan  (Editor), David Sloan Wilson (Editor)

Books by Barbara Oakley

Learn Like A Pro by Barbara Oakley Uncommon Sense Teaching: Practical Insights in Brain Science to Help Students Learn Learning How to Learn: How to Succeed in School Without Spending All Your Time Studying; A Guide for Kids and Teens A Mind for Numbers: How to Excel at Math and Science (Even If You Flunked Algebra)
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