Morning light at the Central Courtyard

Meet the Learning Designers: FoA Team (Part 3 of 6)

Who are the Faculty Learning Designers and what are their skills and interests? This week’s edition focuses on the Learning Designers within the Faculty of Arts!


Name: Beth Saunders

Special skill/area of interest: My motivation and aim is to provide ‘external’ students in the Faculty of Arts with an exceptional online learning experience.  The skill I have is to connect with academic staff, build a relationship and help them develop their skills to explore and use appropriate educational technologies to improve their students online learning experience.  External students need to feel connected to their student cohort and teachers.  Some students need to be intrinsically and or extrinsic motivated in order to engage with learning and some students  just need to feel nurtured (cared for) and heard in the online space.

Why am I motivated to improve learning online?  Well that comes from my own experiences of being both an online student and teaching Health Science subjects online.  When teaching,  I found that tapping into or reminding students of their motivation to undertake the program in the first place was key when to engaging and encouraging the student to complete their program, which can take up to  4- 6 years!

What book / paper are you currently reading? I have just finished reading White Butterflies and autobiography written by my partner’s father, Colin McPhedran.  Colin was born to a Scottish father and a highborn Burmese woman from Shan State in the north of Burma and he was 11 years old when the Japanese invaded Burma.  White Butterflies documents the incredible journey that Colin, his brother, sister and mother took along with  tens of thousands of other citizens fleeing Burma. Their journey  was to take them over the Hukwang Valley trail, a trail that was referred to as ‘the path to hell’.

Beautifully written by a beautiful man.

name Beth Saunders
Telephone number +61-2-9850-4097
MQ email
Positions Senior Learning Designer

Name: Chris Froissard

Special skill/area of interest: When Chris is not advising on pedagogies and technologies to support student engagement he spends his time in developing his Cocker Spaniel wrangling skills.

What are you currently reading? How to train a psychotic Cocker, 10 easy steps to a dog you can take anywhere.

name Chris Froissard
Telephone number +61-2-9850-9635
MQ email
Positions Senior Learning Designer


Name: Cathy Mewes 

Biggest interest in learning technologies: Interactive multimedia, synchronous and asynchronous voice/video tools.

Biggest interest outside of work: Rowing, sailing, water sports in general.

Special skill: Learning management system technologies. I have an education background but I gravitate toward learning technologies and all things technical.

Favourite book:  The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker.

Coffee cart order: Large skim latte.

Actor who should play you in the movie of your life: Ashley Judd.

name Cathy Mewes
Telephone number 7033
MQ email
Positions Online Education Support OfficerFaculty of Arts
Online Educational Developer

Name: Gai Ramesh

Special skill/area of interest: I am passionate about Online Learning and Teaching. I love helping academics with iLearn. I have worked in various departments at MQ but now I have found a home at FoA.

An interesting fact about me: All my fingers are double jointed. I love wearing rings especially made of gold. My first name in some languages means cow or chicken.

What are you currently reading? I am reading Silas Marner by George Eliot that I picked up from the FoA free books table.

My first world problem: “What Do You Mean, No Wi-Fi?”

My favourite conundrum: “If you are waiting for the waiter, then aren’t you the waiter?”

My favourite catch phrase: “no worries”

name Gai Ramesh
Telephone number +61-2-9850-6811
MQ email
Positions Learning Designer


Name: Bettina Pfaendner

Special Skills: I have taught Film and Television at Swinburne University for 5 years as both tutor and convenor, now I am a learning designer because I wanted to reach more students to make that difference. I have a focus on digital learning environment and online teaching.

What book are you reading? The book I am reading right now was Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving, unfortunately this 800 pages book fell into Lake Macquarie whilst sailing last weekend. The ending will be a mystery to me now for ever.

Learn more about me here. 

Formal name Bettina Pfaendner
MQ email
Positions Learning Designer