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Forensic archaeologist and online teacher

Excavating human remains and looking at cold cases is all in a day’s work for Swinburne Online eLearning Adviser (eLA) Louise Steding. 

“I’m a traditional and forensic archaeologist with a background in criminology and osteoarchaeology,” Louise says.

“When I’m not teaching online, I look at cold cases, excavate human remains and work with my husband in traditional heritage – from derelict mines to cemeteries that aren’t there.

“My husband and I travel quite a bit with work, so online teaching is just perfect. I also didn’t realise how close people can become online. Swinburne is quite a family.”

Louise and her husband live on a small hobby farm just outside Sydney. She says experience in the profession has helped her become a better teacher.  

“I try to throw my experiences into both the forensic psychology and science units I teach and encourage students to do the same.

“There is certainly a fountain of knowledge and experience within each learning group. I love the way we can all learn from each other,’ Louise says.

“Not wanting to sound cliché, I really love all my students. Everyone is so interesting, eager, different, and yet we have so much in common. It’s an ‘appreciation’ and ‘consideration’ eye opener.”

Like many online students, Louise says the key to being a successful online teacher is time management and taking advantage of support.

“In truth, I never thought that I would be able to conquer the technological side of being an eLA.

“But I am fortunate enough to have a superb teaching coach and be surrounded by a strong network of supportive eLAs. No difficulty is too tough or problem too embarrassing.

“Time and task management is important because of my busy and varied lifestyle - like those of many students I might add. Really my primary goal is to help all students enjoy, focus and pass the unit.”