Joe Parsons

Joe Parsons
Acting Director, Curriculum Renewal and Strategic Priorities
LTSI and Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology

BSc (Utah), MA (Illinois), PhD (Illinois)

Office: HHB 120h

Joe's training, interest, and professional career have focused on learning and teaching. From the time that Joe was an undergraduate psychology student through graduate school, teaching university courses, counselling university students, to his current post-retirement position working with faculty, Joe has worked to improve student learning and success. Joe's research has focused on what he calls the conditions of learning, and how instructors can arrange those conditions to expedite student learning.


  • Education D605 – Teaching and Learning in Higher Education (part of LATHE Certificate Program)
  • Education B590 – Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Psychology
  • Psychology 390, 490  for many years

Scholarly Interests: Student learning and motivation, learning outcomes and assessments, student success, course design, and the application of behavioural methods in teaching and learning. Read Joe’s Curriculum Vita.

Selected Publications

  • Polson, D.A.D. and Parsons, J.A. (2000). Selection-based versus Topography-based Responding: An Important Distinction for Stimulus Equivalence? The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 17, 105-128.
  • Polson, D.A.D., Grabavac, D.M., & Parsons, J.A. (1997). Intraverbal Stimulus-Response Reversibility: Fluency, Familiarity Effects, and Implications for Stimulus Equivalence. The Analysis of Verbal Behavior, 14, 19-40.
  • Polson, D.A.D., & Parsons, J. A. (1994). Precurrent contingencies: Behavior reinforced by altering reinforcement probability for other behavior. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 61, 427-439.
  • Parsons, J. A., Taylor, D. C., and Joyce, T. M. (1981). Precurrent self-prompting operants in children: "Remembering". Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 36, 253 - 266.
  • Parsons, J. A. and Delaney, H. D. (1978). Effects of unit-quiz mastery criteria on student performance. Journal of Personalized Instruction, 3, 225 -228.
  • Bijou, S. W., Morris, E. K., and Parsons, J. A. (1976). A PSI course in child development with a procedure for reducing student procrastination. Journal of Personalized Instruction, 1, 36 – 40

Selected Presentations

  • Surridge, L., MacFarlane, S, and Parsons, J. How can we increase student success and retention in large first-year classes? Workshop co-presented at Let’s Talk About Teaching conference, August, 2013, UVic.
  • Student Learning Skills: How Instructors Can Foster Implementation. Workshop presented to Faculty Development Institute, Vancouver Island University, May 23, 2013.
  • Student Success and Retention: One Successful Strategy. Workshop presented to Faculty Development Institute, Vancouver Island University, May 22, 2013.
  • Curriculum Design Institute (co-facilitator), 2012, 2013, UVic

Defining and Assessing Learning Outcomes, presented to:

  • Faculty, UVic
  • Learning Without Borders faculty cohort, UVic
  • LATHE Certificate program, UVic
  • Learning and Teaching Development Grant recipients, UVic
  • Learning Without Borders Grant recipients, UVic

Logic Models for Defining Learning Outcomes, presented to:

  • Residence Life, UVic
  • Learning & Teaching Centre, UVic
  • Counselling Services, UVic
  • Office for Indigenous Affairs, UVic
  • Career Services, UVic
  • Student & Ancillary Services Managers, UVic
  • Student Transition Centre, UVic

Note-taking and Study Skills workshops to students in University Admission Preparation Course (now Pathways), UVic.

Fostering Critical and Respectful Discourse: Beginning the Conversation (with Sheppard, J., Surridge, L., Conway, M., and Doane, G.), Learning and Teaching Centre, UVic, Victoria, BC.

Workshop for High School Students, Hatzic Secondary, Harrison Hot Springs, BC.

Workshop for Aboriginal students, Faculty of Education, Comox, BC.

Graduate Student Supervision

Served as member on Masters and Doctoral candidate research committees:

  • Mathematics and Statistics
  • Psychology
  • Educational Psychology & Leadership Studies

Honours and Awards

  • University of Victoria President's Distinguished Services Award (2006)
  • University of Victoria Student Affairs Award (2011)