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Athabasca University

Dr. Cheryl Kier

Associate Professor




I started working as an individualized study tutor with Athabasca University in 1999 and instantly fell in love with it. Interacting one-on-one with students has been very rewarding. I received my B.A. degree at McGill University. Then I moved on to Calgary, where my M.Sc. degree was obtained from the University of Calgary. My PhD. was awarded from Reading University in the U.K. All three degrees were in psychology. Before coming back to Calgary I worked as a lecturer at the University of East London in the U.K. I then taught for several years as a sessional instructor at Mount Royal College before becoming a full-time member of the Psychology Centre at Athabasca University in June, 2006.

As a developmental psychologist, my research has focused on interpersonal relationships, particularly families after divorce. Currently I am involved in studies on adolescents, with a focus on parent-child relationships. My other main research interest is learning styles and creating course materials that relate to these. Other research includes social capital and happiness, music preferences, civic activism, and financial saving behaviour. When I have the opportunity, I would like to investigate racism, discrimination, and human rights issues.

Selected Publications

Kier, C. A. (2019). Plagiarism intervention using a game-based tutorial in an online distance education course, Journal of Academic Ethics, 17, 429 439.

Chang, J. & Kier, C.A. (2016). Introduction to the special issue: Divorce in the Canadian context – interventions and family processes. Canadian Journal of Counselling and Psychotherapy, 50(3S), S1-S4.

Ross, L. & Kier, C. (2016). Attachment theory: Gone too far/too far gone? Journal of Mother Studies, 1, online.

Kier, C. A. & Fung, T. (2014) Adult outcomes of being raised by grandmothers: Can social networks play a role? Journal of Intergenerational Relationships, 12(2), 141-166, DOI: 10.1080/15350770.2014.901120

Kier, C. A. (2014). How well do Canadian distance education students understand plagiarism? International Review of Research on Distance Learning, 15(1), 227-248.

Park, C., Kier, C., & Jugdev, K. (2011). Debate as a teaching strategy in online education: A case study. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 37(3), 1-17.

Leung, A., Kier, C., Fung, T., Fung, L., & Sproule, R. (2011). Searching for happiness: The importance of social capital. Journal of Happiness Studies, 12, 443–462. DOI: 10.1007/s10902-010-9208-8

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Updated May 01 2015 by Student & Academic Services

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