Title: Web disclosures of substandard mobile learning programmes and institutions

Authors: Jun Sun, Lai C. Liu, Kai S. Koong

Addresses: Department of Computer Information Systems and Quantitative Methods, The University of Texas – Pan American, 1201 West University Drive, Edinburg, TX 78539, USA. ' Department of Computer Information Systems and Quantitative Methods, The University of Texas – Pan American, 1201 West University Drive, Edinburg, TX 78539, USA. ' Department of Computer Information Systems and Quantitative Methods, The University of Texas – Pan American, 1201 West University Drive, Edinburg, TX 78539, USA

Abstract: Advances in information and communication technologies (ICT) have made it possible for people of all ages and ethnicity to access educational opportunities anywhere across the globe 24 hours a day. However, many mobile learning (m-learning) programmes and their affiliated institutions may be classified by governmental and accreditation agencies as substandard. This study examines the web disclosures of m-learning programmes and institutions that were labelled as unaccredited institutions and degree mills by states that maintain a public watch list. Among all the listed institutions with known locations, 302 were operating inside the USA and another 188 had overseas connections with 54 nations. Interestingly, these unaccredited programmes and degree mills appear to operate from certain countries or states more than others. From the perspective of compliance and enforcement, this major trend identified is important because people can now have a more focused group of institutions and their locations to monitor.

Keywords: compliance; degree mill; diploma mill; distance education; enforcement; fraud; homeland security; mobile learning; unaccredited programmes; web disclosures; m-learning; educational opportunities; substandard programmes; unaccredited institutions.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMLO.2009.026312

International Journal of Mobile Learning and Organisation, 2009 Vol.3 No.3, pp.258 - 274

Published online: 06 Jun 2009 *

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