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Alexandra Makos

Alexandra Makos
Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream


Applied Psychology and Human Development
Curriculum, Teaching and Learning

Research Overview

I specialize in online teaching and learning across the lifespan and the design of learning experiences on student engagement. My research area has broadened during the pandemic as I have shifted toward understanding online learning and educational technologies from a lifespan approach. Given the attention to (educational) technology use during the COVID-19 pandemic in school-aged children, I am taking time to explore how the targeted use of particular educational technology combined with online learning design can support a child’s social development. This interest is sparked by my 5-year-old daughter’s anxiety around online learning with her peers. It is something that has come up in conversations with other parents and given the body of literature on anxiety and online learning in adolescence and adults, it feels like an ideal moment for me to explore this area. My previous work focuses mainly on higher education but continues to inform how I will approach this new area by considering online learning as an established practice and using best practices from this body of literature to provide points of entry into developing engaging experiences for younger school-aged children.

Curriculum Vitae

Academic History

Ph.D. (2017) Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto
M.Ed. (2010) Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto
M.A. (2009) Department of Art, University of Toronto
H.B.Sc. (2008) University of Toronto

Teaching Overview

APHD1294 - Technology, Psychology and Play
APHD1235 - Technology, Play and Social Media in Adolescence
CTL1624 - Instructional Design of Online Courses
APHD5036 - Special Topics: Online Pedagogy

Representative Publications

Avery, T., Makos, A., Sarguroh, W., Raman, P., Brett, C., & Hewitt, J. (2020). This is why we do it: Using a design-based approach to optimize student learning in an online discussion-based course. International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education, 35(1).

MacKinnon, K., Makos, A., Wilton, L., Malhotra, T., Avery, A., Raman, P., & Brett, C. (2020). Building community in online discussion-based courses. International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education, 35(1).

Oztok, M., Zingaro, D., Makos, A., Brett, C., & Hewitt, J. (2015). Capitalizing social presence: The Relationship between social capital and social presence. The Internet & Higher Education, 26, 19-24.

Makos, A., Lee, K., & Zingaro, D. (2014). Examining the characteristics of student postings that are liked and linked in a CSCL environment. British Journal of Educational Technology.

Houtman, E., Makos, A., & Meacock, H.L. (2014). The intersection of social presence and impression management in online learning environments. Journal of E-Learning and Digital Media, 3(4).

Oztok, M., Wilton, L., Lee, K., Zingaro, D., MacKinnon, K., Makos, A., Phirangee, K., Harwood, C., Brett, C., & Hewitt, J. (2014). Polysynchronous: Dialogic construction of time in online learning. Journal of E-Learning and Digital Media, 2.

Oztok, M., Zingaro, D., Makos, A. (2013). What social capital can tell us about social presence. British Journal of Educational Technology, 44(6).