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How to Cope in Extraordinary Times

Our latest MOOC is a chance for U of T alumni to come together to discuss an anxiety many of us can't shake. Join us online as psychologist Steve Joordens explains the emotional reactions to COVID-19, from media addictions to stressing about what to say to our kids. You’ll gain a better understanding of how your brain reacts to crises, along with practical tools for managing your anxiety response and even turning it off—at least for short periods. 

This MOOC includes:

  1. Four hour-long modules screened over four weeks or at your convenience. Each module consists of three or four videos and features lectures by Professor Steve Joordens, Department of Psychology, U of T Scarborough.
  2. Virtual access to a teaching assistant and customized videos to open and close the course—just for U of T alumni.


MODULE 1 – Introduction and Overview

  1. Understanding the anxiety response
  2. The necessity of strategies to manage anxiety
  3. Achieving relaxation: a skill we all need to learn now

MODULE 2 – Why Watching the News is Addicting and how to Manage Your Consumption

  1. The critical art of mental distraction to crowd out stressors
  2.  How we think about physical distancing and explaining it to our children 

MODULE 3 – The Effects of Isolation

  1. Some strategies to make isolation more tolerable
  2. The importance of social connection in a physical distancing world 

MODULE 4 – The Need to Guard Against Depression: The Importance of Control

  1. Bring it together: practice makes proficient
  2. A call-out for suggestions about additional videos

Delivered online by Coursera, this MOOC is one of the many ways U of T keeps you informed, inspired and in touch with alumni all over the world. Stay connected to your U of T community and never stop learning.

About Professor Steve Joordens, Department of Psychology, U of T Scarborough

Professor Joordens was trained as a cognitive psychologist with expertise in consciousness and human memory. He has taught Introduction to Psychology for over two decades, both at the University of Toronto and online. He has received a number of teaching awards and was named the 3M National Teaching Fellow in 2015. Prof. Joordens is often called upon by news outlets to provide a psychological perspective on current issues, such as the COVID-19 pandemic.