Steve Joordens

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Steve Joordens
Born (1965-08-14) August 14, 1965 (age 55)
Alma materUniversity of New Brunswick
University of Waterloo
McMaster University
Known formemory, consciousness, Research Ethics, Peer-Assessment, TUse of Technology for Education, Critical Thinking
AwardsNational Technology Innovation Award,
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Toronto Scarborough

Steve Joordens is a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto Scarborough. He teaches introductory psychology and a seminar course on the scientific study of conscious and unconscious influences. Joordens research areas including conscious and unconscious influences, memory, and the effective use of technology for education.

Education and career[edit]

Joordens earned his bachelor's degree in Psychology at the University of New Brunswick in 1989 and gained his PhD in Psychology at University of Waterloo in 1994 and postdoc at McMaster University on models and empirical studies of human memory.[1] He is also part of the Teaching Academy at the University of Toronto.[2] Joordens has been a faculty member of the University of Toronto Scarborough since 1995.


He is an active researcher in Cognitive Psychology and Educational Psychology. In the field of cognitive psychology, he primarily researches issues related to human memory and consciousness. In the field of Educational Psychology, he primarily researches issues related to peer-assessment, critical thinking, engagement, and the effective use of technology for education.[3]


With his Ph.D. Student Dwayne Pare, he co-developed peerScholar, an internet-based tool to support the development of critical thought and clear communication in any course context. peerScholar won the 2009 National Technology Innovation Award, and is now a commercial product licensed to Pearson Education.[4]

In 2006 CUPE 3902, the trade union representing TAs and sessional lecturers at the UofT, filed a grievance alleging that Joordens was using this programme to create a pool of "cheap labour" as a means of avoiding hiring teaching assistants to grade term work for his introductory Psychology class. In January 2009, an arbitrator upheld the grievance—noting that Joordens was indeed looking for "free" labour—and ruled that the University of Toronto needed to pay $283,000 to compensate the more than 1500 students who had been forced to work for free.[5]

In 2018, he appears to have mistakenly played a pornographic video at a start of a class.[6][7] Shortly after the incident, on September 28 Joordens released a statement: “With respect to the event that happened prior to my class on Monday the 24th, I want to be clear that what happened was completely unintentional and I feel absolutely terrible about it. I have apologized to my class and now I want to move on. Thanks to my students, colleagues and my amazing family for their support and understanding.” [8]


In 2013, Joordens taught Introduction to Psychology to more than 68,000 registered students on Coursera.[9] This course was developed as part of a $100,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.[10] Joordens also teaches Memory and Human Lifespan Course on The Great Courses.[11]

Joordens has been involved in using technology in online learning experiences. His online courses offer a range of psychology concepts for students to explore, incorporated with technology measures such as Digital Lab Coat, mTuner, peerScholar, and using Wikipedia as an educational tool.[12][13][14]

Teaching awards[edit]

2012 – Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations Teaching Award.[15]

2010 – President’s Teaching Award, the highest teaching honour at the University of Toronto.[16]

2009/10 – One of Ontario's top 10 post-secondary lecturers as part of Television Ontario's "Best Lecturer" competition[17]

2009 – Joordens and Pare win 2009 National Technology Innovation Award for peerScholar.[18]

Society memberships[edit]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Milliken, B., & Joordens, S. Negative priming without overt prime selection. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology
  • Merikle, P. M., & Joordens, S. Measuring unconscious influences. in J. D. Cohen & J. W. Schooler (Eds.), Scientific Approaches to the Question of Consciousness: 25th Carnegie Symposium on Cognition. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
  • Merikle, P. M., Joordens, S., & Stolz, J. A. Measuring the relative magnitude of unconscious influences. Consciousness and Cognition.
  • Merikle, P. M., & Joordens, S. (1997). Parallels between Perception without Attention and Perception without Awareness. Consciousness and Cognition 6, 219–236. Article No. CC970310.[21]
  • Besner, D., & Joordens, S. (1995). Wrestling with ambiguity: Further reflections. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 21, 515–519
  • Joordens, S., & Besner, D. (1994). When banking on meaning is not (yet) money in the bank: Explorations in connectionist modeling. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 20, 1–12.
  • Buchanan, L., Joordens, S., Thagard, P., & Fleck, R. (1993). Visual analogies and mental rotation. Proceedings of the Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Sciences Society.
  • Joordens, S., & Merikle, P. M. (1993). Independence or Redundancy? Two models of conscious and unconscious influences. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 122, 462–467.
  • Joordens, S., & Besner, D. (1992). Priming effects that span an intervening unrelated word: Implications for models of memory representation and retrieval. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 18, 483–491.
  • Joordens, S., & Merikle, P. M. (1992). False recognition and perception without awareness. Memory & Cognition, 20, 151–159.


  1. ^ Beckerlab Neural Computation Laboratory, McMaster University, Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  2. ^ University of Toronto, Steven Joordens Profile, Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  3. ^ TVO, Big Ideas: Steve Joordens on Critical Thinking Archived 2013-07-05 at, The Ontario Educational Communications Authority, March 05, 2010. Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  4. ^ Pearson, peerScholar Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  5. ^ Sequeira, Peer graders get belated payday Retrieved 2015-02-18.
  6. ^ "U of T's porn prof given hard time over sexxx-rated lecture | Toronto Sun". 26 September 2018. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Monday psychology lecture at UTSC begins with a bang". The Varsity. 25 September 2018. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Monday psychology lecture at UTSC begins with a bang". The Varsity. 25 September 2018. Retrieved 14 December 2019.
  9. ^ Coursera, Introduction to Psychology, Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  10. ^ UTSC, Joordens wins Gates Foundation grant, University of Toronto Scarborough, Dec 10, 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  11. ^ Steven Jordeens Profile, The Great Courses, Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  12. ^ Digital Lab Coat, Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  13. ^ Kelly Rankin, Wikipedia goes to university - U of T first Canadian university involved in foundation’s classroom initiative, University of Toronto News, October 26, 2011. Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  14. ^ Laurie, Active Learning Online – More Ideas from Prof. Steve Joordens, University of Toronto Online Learning Strategies, February 22, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  15. ^ OCUFA, University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus’ Steve Joordens wins top teaching award, OCUFA Press Release, September 17, 2012. Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  16. ^ Elaine Smith, Psychologist named recipient of U of T President’s Teaching Award, University of Toronto Scarborough, Apr 26, 2010. Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  17. ^ Amina Stella and Andrew Rusk, Two U of T profs finalists in TVO's Best Lecturer Competition, The Varsity, 22 February 2010. Retrieved 2013-05-13.
  18. ^ NTIA, Congratulations to 2009 Award Winners! Archived 2013-06-28 at, The Learning Partnership, Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  19. ^ Queen's Printer for Ontario, 2013, Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario, Retrieved 2013-05-13.
  20. ^ Pandora - Australia's Web Archive, Noetica: a cognitive science forum, Retrieved 2013-05-15.
  21. ^ Merikle, P. M. & Joordens, S., Parallels between Perception without Attention and Perception without Awareness Archived 2013-06-26 at the Wayback Machine, Consciousness and Cognition, 1997. Retrieved 2013-05-25.

External links[edit]