Net Neutrality and its Implications to Online Learning

  • Lisa C. Yamagata-Lynch University of Tennessee http://orcid.org/0000-0002-0844-9932
  • Deepa R Despande University of Tennessee
  • Jaewoo Do University of Tennessee
  • Erin Garty University of Tennessee
  • Jason M Mastrogiovanni University of Tennessee
  • Stephanie J Teague University of Tennessee
Keywords: distance education access, computer mediated communication, net neutrality, digital divide, digital disempowerment, narrative analysis, activity systems analysis

Abstract

In this article, we studied net neutrality as a complex sociocultural phenomenon that can affect the works of distance education scholars and online learners. We decided to take part in this research because many distance education scholars and learners take net neutrality for granted. We engaged in a qualitative investigation of US public documents and explored the effects of net neutrality and public digital access, which can influence learner engagement with online educational materials. We focused on identifying tensions in the discourse about net neutrality, especially surrounding the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) 2015 Open Internet Order. Our research question was: How do the complexities involved in the net neutrality debate in the United States affect public access to online information and services, and what implications does this hold for online learning? We relied on activity systems as an analytical framework for making sense of net neutrality.

Author Biographies

Lisa C. Yamagata-Lynch, University of Tennessee

Associate Professor

Educational Psychology and Counseling

Deepa R Despande, University of Tennessee

Doctoral Candidate

Educational Psychology and Counseling

Jaewoo Do, University of Tennessee

Doctoral Candidate

Educational Psychology and Counseling

Erin Garty, University of Tennessee

Doctoral Student

Educational Psychology and Counseling

Jason M Mastrogiovanni, University of Tennessee

Director

First-Year Studies

Stephanie J Teague, University of Tennessee

Doctoral Student

Educational Psychology and Counseling

Published
2017-09-25
How to Cite
Yamagata-Lynch, L. C., Despande, D. R., Do, J., Garty, E., Mastrogiovanni, J. M., & Teague, S. J. (2017). Net Neutrality and its Implications to Online Learning. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 18(6). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v18i6.3129
Section
Research Articles