Perceptions of Financial-institution Leaders on Applying Online Educational Technology to Promote Financial Literacy

Perceptions of Financial-institution Leaders on Applying Online Educational Technology to Promote Financial Literacy

Author: 
Hazel Wai Hing Lee
Program of study: 
Ed.D./ET
Abstract: 
Low financial literacy is a general problem in the United States raising the need for effective financial education. Financial-institution leaders can play a crucial role in promoting financial literacy with their practical experience as supported by Dewey’s pragmatic constructivist paradigm and the PEST conceptual framework. The purpose of this qualitative inquiry study was to explore the perceptions of the financial-institution leaders in Texas on applying online technology to promote financial literacy. Qualitative data were collected through in-depth telephone interviews with 20 leaders from banks and credit unions. The findings revealed that some common ways to provide online financial literacy education by the financial institutions were through the offering of online financial calculators, website information posting, external links, social media communication, and the partnering with appropriate third parties. The financial leaders perceived that applying online technology would be the future direction especially for the millennial generation but face-to-face education would remain important. The opportunities arising from providing financial literacy education included social responsibility fulfillment, corporate image strengthening, marketing potential, and favorable regulatory consideration. The challenges involved the human and financial resources constraints, IT support, lack of effective evaluation, and how to motivate consumers to learn online. Some leaders suggested the use of games, financial incentives, and innovative mobile apps. The policy implications included an increase in government support, partnership with schools, embracing financial literacy elements in the state standardized test, and collaboration among financial leaders, regulators, educators, and policy makers to foster financial literacy for the benefits of the society.
Dedication: 
Praise to my God, my Lord, and Savior – Jesus Christ! The doctoral journey is a vivid testimony for the blessings from God to lead me through this long and challenging, but meaningful and rewarding journey. It is only through His grace, with support through my doctoral committee, my family members, and my friends that has made the completion of this dissertation a success. I feel so thankful for committing to this fruitful journey because I have excavated lots of learning treasures and pleasures! My dissertation is dedicated first to God for His grace, guidance, and life to me. I also would like to dedicate it to my beloved father who is now in heaven. I remember holding his warm hands in the nursing home telling him that I will complete the doctoral degree. I wish that he could see my graduation from above. I am indebted to my mom in Canada. I could not visit her as often as I wished because I needed to finish writing my dissertation. I wish my humble work could contribute to the awareness of the importance of promoting financial literacy education to help people be good stewards of their wealth and take better ownership of their financial future. More specifically, through exploring the perceptions of the financial leaders in Texas, the dissertation concluded with a call for the partnering of various stakeholders to promote financial literacy with the leadership of the financial-institution leaders through the application of online educational technology as a complement to face-to-face education.
Acknowledgements: 
I am very grateful to my dissertation mentor, Dr. Shannon Hilliker, for her enduring encouragement during my difficult times, her prompt feedback during the submission process, her helpful advice for me to work through the process productively, and her flexible approach that has enabled me to maximize my learning opportunities and potential. Likewise, I would like to extend my heartfelt appreciation to Professor Ada Mui from Columbia University as my external committee member. I felt so fortunate to be able to learn from her. Most of all, her uplifting faith, her passionate encouragement, and critical thinking skills have acted as energizing fuel for me to propel through the doctoral journey. I am also very thankful to Dr. Yongmin Zhu for his helpful suggestions and kind patience. He has given me heartwarming encouragement and support during the doctoral process. Thanks must be given to Dr. William Lan, Professor and former Chairperson of the Department of Educational Psychology and Leadership in the College of Education in the Texas Tech University; to Dr. Angelina Li, President in AHL Consulting; to Dr. Joe Thomas, former CEO of Watchseelearn.org and current Vice President in Junior Achievement; as well as to Mr. Martin Webster, Chief Operating Officer at Idea5, for their expert advice in reviewing my interview questionnaire and helpful suggestions. My thanks are also extended to Ms. Maebeth Cotton, Marketing and Financial Literacy Officer at Austin Bank; to Mr. Melvin Jordan, Executive Vice President and Ms. Jean Carr, Vice President of IT Operation at Citizens Bank for their experience sharing in providing online financial literacy education to consumers. I am very grateful to the financial-institution leaders who have participated in the research for their valuable inputs. I heartily appreciate their passion in promoting financial literacy education for the benefits of the society and their magnification of the spirit of people helping people. May their undisclosed names be remembered and their kind deeds rewarded! My heartfelt appreciation also goes to Ms. Leilani Lim-Villegas, Financial Education Coordinator from the Texas Department of Banking for her helpful information and experience sharing regarding financial literacy promotion in Texas, and Mr. Jim Doris of the Texas Education Agency for the curriculum resources information. Last but not least, mere words are not enough to describe my gratitude to my husband, Dr. Albert Fung, my daughter Grace, for their kind understanding and unfailing support during the past years. I must also thank my dear friends, especially Jenny Fung, Dr. Suet-Wan Lai, Yan Liu, Professor Kin-Chung Lo, my godly sisters and brothers for their prayers and support during the doctoral journey. To close, let’s rise and shine, and give God the glory, glory!