Sep 22, 2023
Dynamic Public Speaking Specialization by University of Washington (Coursera)

Online Courses by University of Washington

Public speaking is a highly sought after soft skill for business executives, sales people or trainers or anybody in public-facing profession. This 4-course series created by University of Washington is one of the highest quality courses that will help you up your speaking game. The instructor Dr. Matt McGarrity is UW’s distinguished lecturer and has won several awards and accolades for public speaking research. He has spent an entire career helping nervous novice speakers grow into confident communicators. In this course he helps learners hone public speaking and speech writing techniques. You will learn about how to design impromptu speeches, master the speech preparation process, and deliver informative and persuasive speeches in the most effective manner.

This public speaking specialization is for speakers at all levels. It’s a self-paced program with flexible deadlines that will take about 4-6 months to complete with around 3-4 hours of work per week. Throughout the courses, learners will record speeches, providing and receiving peer feedback. Although it does not come with any college credit, financial aid is available.

The courses in this specialization draw from the fields of communication, linguistics, and debate creating a comprehensive curriculum and include the following:

  • Introduction to Public Speaking
  • Speaking to Inform: Discussing complex ideas with clear explanations and dynamic slides
  • Speaking to Persuade: Motivating audiences with solid arguments and moving language
  • Speaking to Inspire: Ceremonial and Motivational Speeches

Key Highlights

  • Increase your confidence and presence as a dynamic speaker
  • Learn innovative techniques to design and deliver compelling presentations
  • Develop delivery techniques for voice, movement, and gesture that engage audiences
  • Learn how to use storytelling, argument, style, topic framing, and evidence to get your point across effectively
  • Prepare effective speeches for various purposes (informative, persuasive, praise), occasions (workplace, special events, etc.), and audiences.

Duration : Approx. 4-6 months

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Sep 22, 2023
Think Again I: How to Understand Arguments by Duke University (Coursera)

Online Courses by Duke University

Reasoning is important. Think Again course promises to teach you how to reason and argue well and in an effective manner. Basically, it is structured as a series of four short courses that explore the logic underlying arguments, how arguments are constructed and deconstructed, and how to identify and evaluate arguments and what makes a good argument.

You will learn simple but vital rules to follow in thinking about any topic at all and common and tempting mistakes to avoid in reasoning. You will be taught how to identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments by other people (including politicians, used car salesmen, and teachers) and how to construct arguments of your own in order to help you decide what to believe or what to do. These skills will be useful in dealing with whatever matters most to you.

This is not a typical course in logic. But, has a much different focus as it attempts to teach how one could evaluate arguments in everyday contexts. The syllabus explores the following in four distinct parts:

  • Analyzing arguments
  • Deductive arguments
  • Inductive arguments
  • Fallacies and refutations

All the four courses are instructed by Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, Chauncey Stillman Professor of Practical Ethics in the Department of Philosophy and the Kenan Institute for Ethics at Duke University, and Ram Neta, Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The humorous and friendly delivery style of the professors is very well liked by the students.

The courses are delivered as 10-15 minutes micro-lectures. Multiple choice exercises follow each lecture for students to check their understanding. Several additional reading notes are also provided for students who wish to explore the topics in more depth. Longer graded quizzes are included at the end of each course.

This is a very engaging and applicable course, and presented with 100% efficacy. It serves people working or studying in a wide range of fields pretty well. Regardless your job or location, the information, tools and techniques taught in the course will help you to reason in everyday life.

Key Highlights

  • Gain important skills that will be useful to you in deciding what to believe and what to do in all areas of your life
  • Understand how to determine whether an argument is valid or not
  • Explore the difference between deductive and inductive arguments and logical fallacies
  • Effective for people studying or working in any field

Duration : Approx. 16 hours

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Sep 22, 2023
Achieving Personal and Professional Success Specialization by Wharton (Coursera)

Online Courses by Wharton school, University of Pennsylvania

This Specialization is based on the four most popular courses taught at Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and has been designed to help you maximize your potential and be more successful in both personal and professional life, using the techniques and exercises taught at the Wharton School. This course teaches students to harness key skills that can help them navigate their social world more effectively.

Upon completing this Specialization, learners will be able to define what success means to them, find their passion and core values, apply these values and principles at home and at work, work well with others, communicate effectively, set goals and influence others to achieve their goals. While many business courses only cover topics related to successful organizational practices, these courses provide key insights into successful personal practices that work well in both professional and personal life.

This specialization comprises of following four courses that are in a sequence, and the sequence is important:

  1. Success – This course is about defining goals and understanding how your goals connect to your long-term images of yourself. It has been designed by Wharton Professor G. Richard Shell, an award-winning author and the creator of the popular Wharton School course on the meaning of success. Learners say that Richard Shell’s courses and executive training programs have changed their lives. In this course, Shell offers personalized assessments to help you probe your past, imagine your future, and measure your strengths.
  2. Improving Communication Skills – This is an essential course taught by award-winning Wharton professor and best-selling author Maurice Schweitzer. It gives you both the tools you need to improve your communication skills, and the most successful strategies for using them to your advantage. It really helps you understand how to take other people’s perspective, where trust comes from, and how to create relationships.
  3. Leading the Life you want – Taught by acclaimed Wharton professor, best-selling author, and former Ford Motor Company executive and head of its Leadership Development Center, Stew Friedman, this course provides you with the skills you need to lead in all four domains of your life: at work, at home, in the community, and in your private self (mind, body, and spirit). It talks about how to inspire others and different personality traits, about persistence and envisioning things that can help you as a leader.
  4. Influence – Professor Cade Massey of the Wharton School has designed this course to help you learn how to develop influence and to become more effective in achieving your organizational goals. He helps you understand the framework of power and influence and the dynamics of effective networks, and shows you how to develop your skills of persuasion and leverage.

Throughout the specialization students undertake several exercises, self-diagnostic surveys, quizzes, and many case studies. Whether one is starting career and trying to figure out the direction to take or is an experienced professional who has all figured out, this specialization provides the tools that will help them make a bigger impact in whatever they do.

Key Highlights

  • Based on the four most popular courses taught at Wharton School
  • Learn from accomplished scholars and award-winning teachers at a time that’s most convenient in your schedule
  • Learn to define not only what you want, but also the best way to get it
  • Develop critical communication skills needed to get ahead in business and in life
  • Develop leadership skills in all areas of life and create greater harmony among them
  • Learn how to gain power and influence, and how to leverage relationships and alliances

Duration : 16 weeks, 2-3 hours per week

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Sep 22, 2023
De-Mystifying Mindfulness by Leiden University (Coursera)

Online Courses by Leiden University

We are witnessing a lot of interest in meditation, mindfulness, and contemplation these days. For some it’s a therapy, for others technology and for some a lifestyle choice. Tens of millions of people admit to practicing it in United States alone. Significant research into mindfulness has been going on in various disciplines in sciences, social sciences and humanities. This Mindfulness course aims to provide learners with theoretical and practical skills to understand and critically access mindfulness in its various forms. The course has evolved from popular Honours Academy course at Leiden University and is rooted in experiential learning providing an evidence base of what mindfulness can do to people and conceptual base of what mindfulness might actually be.

This is a very innovative course that encompasses ancient traditions and cutting edge science in order to de-mystify mindfulness as a technology for life. Experiential learning is at the heart of the course including specially designed ‘meditation labs’, in which learners get chance to practice and analyze mindfulness on themselves. There are 6 modules that explore the Psychology, Philosophy, Politics and Future of mindfulness. The course culminates with a Honours Project in which learners create original, new projects of their own based on the knowledge accumulated and experiences & insights gained throughout the course.

The course has been designed by Dr. Chris Goto-Jones, a very learned and renowned professor of Philosophy. He delivers the course in a very friendly and open style with a lot of focus on daily experiential practice. There are several useful resources provided for further studies.

This course serves a wide range of learners. Whether you are new to mindfulness looking for clarity, or a seasoned practitioner looking for more depth, or a mindfulness teacher looking to broaden your understanding or a therapist looking to diversify your knowledge, this course has something valuable to offer to everyone.

Key Highlights

  • Get a responsible, comprehensive, and inclusive education about (and in) mindfulness as a contemporary phenomenon
  • Understand popular conceptions and misconceptions about Mindfulness
  • Evaluate the social and political significance of Mindfulness
  • Interpret your own experiences of Mindfulness practices
  • Compare different psychological and therapeutic approaches to Mindfulness

Duration : 5 Weeks, approx 3 hours per week theory + 30-45 minutes per day for experiential practices

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Sep 22, 2023
Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential by McMaster University (Coursera)

Online Courses by McMaster University

This Course has been designed by Dr. Barbara Oakley (creator of wildly popular MOOC “Learning How to Learn” with more than 2 million student participants on Coursera). She has designed this Mindshift course to help learners boost their career and life in today’s fast-paced learning environment. We all know that learning new things in the workplace can be quite challenging, but it is a necessary step to advance your career. This course focuses on how you can develop potential in your workplace and beyond. It teaches how you should keep your mind open to adjust to change, be willing to learn new things and how to do that effectively, and much more.

Dr. Oakley believes that just about anyone can train herself or himself to learn. Whatever your age or stage, Mindshift teaches you essentials such as how to get the most out of online learning and MOOCs, how to seek out and work with mentors, the secrets to avoiding common learning pitfalls, career ruts and general ruts in life, and insights such as the value of selective ignorance over general competence. You will learn about second-skilling yourself, and developing a talent stack of average talents that can combine into a formidable asset.

The course is presented as 4 weekly instalments with video lectures, quizzes and graded assignments. The lessons are rich in metaphor, as the instructors believe that the metaphors use the same neural circuits in the brain as the underlying concept does, so they help to get the complex ideas across much effectively. The popularity of the course is a testament to the great content and presentation skills of the instructors. The course is highly recommended for individuals likely facing career changes and seeking better ways to climb new learning curves.

Key Highlights

  • Learn more about learning effectively
  • Learn about matching your assets with the opportunities that face you
  • Learn various tactics and techniques to help you survive career changes and upheavals
  • Understand latest neuroscientific insights into how our brains change when we learn something new
  • Learn strategies for learning that are backed by brain science, including practical exercises to apply in our own lives
  • Learn mental tricks to help you focus, relax, and reframe if stress intrudes
  • Option to enrol in the course for free

Duration : 4 weeks, 2-3 hours per week

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Sep 22, 2023
Learning How to Learn: Powerful mental tools to help you master tough subjects (Coursera)

Have you ever wondered how your brain works when it comes to learning any new piece of information? This course from Coursera offered in collaboration with McMaster University and University of California, San Diego will help you learn that and more, so you can effectively use this knowledge of how your brain actually processes information to learn complicated subjects. Whether it is art, music, science, math, sports, or literature, this course will serve as a guide to help you learn the subject in a more efficient way and improve at it.

This course is the most popular and loved course on Coursera with almost 2 million students enrolled. It is taught by distinguished professors Dr. Barbara Oakley and Dr. Terrence Sejnowski. Dr. Oakley describes how she flunked her way through elementary, middle school and high school math and science and later retooled her brain and has since made it her life’s work to help others learn how to learn by explaining some key principles from modern neuroscience. She takes you through the following topics in a very friendly and insightful manner:

  • How the brain uses two very different learning modes – focused mode and diffused mode
  • How the brain encapsulates (“chunks”) information
  • Illusions of competence (how your mind fools you)
  • Memory Techniques
  • Dealing with procrastination
  • Renaissance Learning

Using the approaches taught in this course, no matter what your skill levels in topics you would like to master, you can change your thinking and change your life.

This course is offered as 4 weekly instalments, and includes 3 hours of video, 3 hours of exercises and 3 hours of bonus material. Though you can complete it at your own pace, it is suggested that you spend 3-4 hours every week. There are quizzes at the end of each video lecture and each module to help you test and validate the learning. The concepts are illustrated with goofy animations, like surfing zombies, metabolic vampires and an “octopus of attention”.

Key Highlights

  • Learn the best practices shown by research to be most effective in helping you master tough subjects
  • Get easy access to the invaluable learning techniques used by experts in art, music, literature, math, science, sports, and many other disciplines
  • Understand how to learn topics that are completely new to you
  • Learn counter-intuitive test-taking tips and insights that will help you make the best use of your time on homework and problem sets
  • Audit the course for free and enrol for a verified certificate anytime during or after the course by paying a small fee

Duration : 4 weeks, 3-4 hours per week

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