Panic learning off (and on) the Covid Campus

  • Tara Brabazon Dean of Graduate Research / Professor of Cultural Studies Flinders University
  • Jamie Quinton Professor of Physics and Nanotechnology Flinders University
  • Narelle Hunter Lecturer in Biological Sciences Flinders Universithy
Keywords: Panic learning, Classrooms at the end of the world, COVID-19, Paul Virilio, Bunker learning


Online learning has been flooded with platitudes, promises and possibilities for twenty years.   Oversold and undertheorized, online learning reached its ‘moment' through the Covid lockdown.   Underprepared staff and underfunded universities implemented online learning in a crisis.   This was a zombie apocalypse of a context in which to summon innovation. This article activates Paul Virilio's University of Disaster to explore the COVID campus and classroom, entering panic learning.

Author Biographies

Tara Brabazon, Dean of Graduate Research / Professor of Cultural Studies Flinders University

Tara Brabazon is the dean of graduate research and professor of cultural studies at Flinders University, Australia, fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures & Commerce and director of the Popular Culture Collective. She has previously held academic positions in the UK, Aotearoa/New Zealand and Canada, won six teaching awards, published 19 books, written over 200 refereed articles and contributed essays and opinion pieces on higher education and the arts. Her specialties include media literacies, doctoral education, higher education studies, creative industries, city imaging, knowledge economy, information management, information literacy, sonic media, auditory cultures, popular cultural studies and the negotiation of cultural difference. 

Jamie Quinton, Professor of Physics and Nanotechnology Flinders University

Jamie S. Quinton is a Professor of Physics and Nanotechnology and Dean of Science at Flinders University. He is a curious and passionate life-long learner who is pursuant of all aspects of Science and has published over 140 peer-reviewed articles. His redevelopment of the 1st year Physics program at Flinders in 2005 focused on the student experience without compromising standards. The impact of his efforts in exceeding high student expectations and incorporating simulations into a highly interactive laboratory program featured in Carrick Institute and Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC) reports in 2007 and 2008 as one of Australia's most exemplary 1st year Physics courses. His students nominated him for the Unijobs Lecturer of the Year (Flinders Winner) in 2009 and he was awarded a prestigious Citation for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning by the Australian Learning and Teaching Council (ALTC, 2010).

Narelle Hunter, Lecturer in Biological Sciences Flinders Universithy

Narelle Hunter is a lecturer in Biological Sciences at Flinders University. She is focused on student engagement and development of innovative learning materials, delivery methods and modes to provide a student-centred and interactive learning experiences. Narelle's research interests include understanding how students develop written literacy skills within the sciences, first-year student transition and science communication. Narelle was awarded the College of Science & Engineering Dean (Education) Award for Excellence in Teaching 2019 and the Faculty of Science & Engineering Scholar Award in 2014.



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Special Section on Capitalism, Coronavirus, and Crushing College as We Know It