Qualitative Literature Review

Qualitative Literature Review



Qualitative Literature Review

Topic Summary

Most institutions operate under various organizations that are structured to assist in efficient management. Case in point is the online high schools in South Carolina. These structured organizations create a sense of leadership in all institutions. Online education programs apply the use of these organizations, in order to form plans that address the issue of low retention rates in South Carolina. Managerial leadership enables online institutions to practice the required skills for efficient communication. Efficient communication creates an organized structural status in the administration of online high schools in the state.


Many issues arise from the administration of online education. A significant issue that needs to be addressed is the low retention rate of students studying through online programs. Retention rate is the problem experienced when students fail to stick to the online study programs and opt for other means of learning. In South Carolina, many online high schools are faced with the problem of low retention rates, for example, South Carolina Virtual School Program, Provost Academy and Palmetto State E-Cademy. The problem is still persistent in South Carolina, despite the availability of many online programs that have the same system of education and curriculum, as ordinary high schools. This causes students who are registered under online programs to drop out of school. The number of high school dropouts in this program is more than that of ordinary institutions. The main reason outlined for causing these dropouts in online programs is the minimal communication between educators and students. Another reason for dropouts is the unavailability of classroom facilities and good learning environments. Lack of these facilities restricts students from assisting each other to gain knowledge and instill discipline in doing their assignments.

Various questions are raised concerning the low retention rate of online high schools in South Carolina, despite the advantages that they have (Palloff & Pratt, 2007). A clear discussion of the questions leads to ways that could be employed, to improve the retention rates of online high schools in the state. The management of online institutions should develop strategies in order to increase the enrollment of high school students to online institutions. It is evident that the management of these schools plays a crucial role in the retention of students to online education programs. The means in which they account for the increasing number of dropouts is also crucial for analysis. This is done through implementing the strategies that are suggested. The main problem is associated with online high school programs in South Carolina is the low retention rates as compared to ordinary institutions.

Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of the study is to develop business plans that assist in the efficient running of online high schools in South Carolina. The steps taken to develop these plans require prior knowledge on the significance of organizational leadership, in the effective running of online institutions. The study also outlines the importance of management in unraveling the problem of low retention rates of online high schools in the state. An example of a strategy that should be employed by management is to increase the role played by teachers in administering lessons. This could be achieved through hiring more teachers who are qualified to handle online education. This will increase the quality of education offered by online institutions. Moreover, it will raise the number of students seeking online education and consequently, finances will increase.

The issue of low rates of retention by students of online high schools in South Carolina is important to address. This is because the low retention rates depict an elevated echelon of high school dropouts in the state. This shows that the overall level of education acquired by all students in both types of schools is low. This is discouraging considering that the problems causing this massive dropout could be rectified by management. Online education programs have the advantage of simple registration. This is because enrollment is made easy through students choosing the courses they want at any time. With such an advantage over ordinary schools, it is difficult to understand why the level of student dropouts is high. This raises questions concerning the credibility of leaders involved with online institutions in South Carolina. This is because these leaders are responsible for availing the courses to students who are studying online, and ensuring the smooth operation of all activities in the school.

The results of the study are based on providing leaders of online high schools in the state with various schemes that they should adopt. These schemes provide convenient ways of tackling the problem of low retention rates in online institutions. Additionally, the results will offer leaders with efficient ways of structuring the management of these institutions in South Carolina. This is achieved through analyzing the responsibility of various leaders in the schools. Furthermore, the managerial leaders are able to provide students who are doing online courses with a good environment for learning. The use of the proposed strategies will increase enrollment of high school students into online programs.


Grounded Theory

            The most appropriate method of tackling this problem is through using a qualitative approach. This is because a detailed description of the problem faced by the management of online institutions is required. The Grounded theory in this case comprises of the qualitative approach, used to handle the low retention rates of online high schools. A grounded theory is a system that incorporates structured principles for collecting and analyzing qualitative data, in order to develop theories based on the respective information (Charmaz, 2006). The discussed problem in this case requires a thematic analysis of the qualitative method. A thematic analysis is the basic form of study that includes skimming through a piece of text, coding noticeable themes and interpreting contents of the subject (Guest, MacQueen & Namey, 2012)

            The methodology involves selecting certain traits of the management of online high schools. These traits mostly include the structures and performance of leaders, used in the administration of online education. The step that follows involves the choice of data collection methods. The key ways for collecting data include observation, interviews and investigative analysis. The next procedure is to establish the effects of other external activities on the study. Some of these activities include ranking, listing, categorizing and Delphi technique. Moreover, it is crucial to determine the schemes that are used for sampling and recruitment.

Narrative Analysis

            Narrative analysis is another part of the qualitative method of research. It involves the use personal accounts for the derivation of data (Reissman, 2007). This method is effective because it helps in gathering first hand information from the experiences by students. Moreover, it gathers information on the scheme that leaders intend to use, in order to reduce the effects of the problem. The main method used in the collection of data using this analysis is through interviews (Padgett, 2004). The use of this method allows researchers to obtain information that sheds light on the causes of the problem statement discussed. The implementation of this method will assist to enhance retention rates in online institutions in South Carolina. However, the qualitative method has a weakness of contrasting between groups. Considering this issue, direct comparisons may be drawn between online and physical learning approaches. As a result, the method requires a broad analysis of the content that is acceptable to the comparison.


            The proposed results concerning the problem influence the strategies that are used to improve the low retention rates of online high schools in South Carolina. The strategies incorporate measures taken by the management of these schools. These measures assist in tackling the issue of increased student dropouts from online education programs. Moreover, the study determines the functions of managerial leaders of online high schools, in dealing with the retention rates of students studying through online programs in South Carolina.


            The proposed research will be vital in improving the management of online high schools in South Carolina. It is evident that students are affected most by the problem. This is because they miss a chance to acquire academic knowledge while their peers are learning in ordinary high schools. Moreover, it is evident that the leadership in these online institutions influences the functionality of the management of online high schools in South Carolina. This is because they have the mandate to provide students with the necessary resources for effective learning. Therefore, the practice of good organizational leadership in managing online institutions in South Carolina, will improve the low retention rates of the institutions.


Charmaz, K. (2006). Grounded theory: A practical guide through qualitative analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Guest, G., MacQueen, K., & Namey, E. (2012). Applied thematic analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Padgett, D. (2004). The qualitative research experience. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.

Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2007). Building Online Learning Communities: Effective Strategies for the Virtual Classroom. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.

Reissman, C. (2007). Narrative methods for the human sciences. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

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