Professor Steve Joordens has been faculty at the University of Toronto since 1995. His initial research focused on gaining a better understanding of human memory and resulted in him winning a Premier’s Research Excellence Award (2000) as well as him teaching a 24 segment course on Memory Through the Lifespan the The Great Courses, a company that seeks out the best lecturers to present content of interest to the general public. Driven largely by his love of teaching, Steve’s research shifted to focus on the effective use of technology to enhance student skills, specifically the so-called skills of success like critical and creative thought, and clear effective communication and collaboration. He became Director of the Advanced Learning Technologies Lab (www.altlab.ca), a lab that both assesses third party technologies, while also creating and researching technologies in house. One of the technologies to emerge from the lab, peerScholar (www.peerScholar.com), won the 2010 National Technology Innovation Award. This technology is now being used in over 8 countries and positively impacts hundreds of thousands of students every term. Professor Joordens himself has won a wide range of awards at the institutional, provincial and national levels. In 2015 he was named a 3M National Teaching Fellow, this highest Canadian award for sustained and significant impact on higher education in Canada.
In addition to his research Steve is a very devoted and well respected teacher. Of course this includes the courses he offers at the University of Toronto, 12 different courses over the years. In addition however, he has also taught four so-called Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). These are courses that anyone, anywhere on the planet, can take at no cost. His initial Introduction to Psychology course now has over 500,000 registered students. At the outset of the pandemic he created a course about Understanding and Managing the Anxiety of COVID19, a course which now has almost 200,000 registered students and that has spawned more targeted courses, one for Police Officers and another for Healthcare workers. These efforts to provide the community with the information and skills they need to get through pandemic have also resulted in Steve being a regular contributor to news casts, bringing his psychology perspective to CTV, CBC, CP24, Global News and many many others. He also regularly speaks to a wide variety of groups around managing their mental health, with any speaker fees typically being donated to Kids Help Phone.