Chapter 17

Mixed Methods

a paradigm that systematically combines or mixes ideas from both quantitative and qualitative research. (p. 467)

Quantitative Qualitative Mixed
Strengths - establishing cause-and-effect relationships - holistic insights into educational processes that occur in particular settings - Words, pictures, and narrative can be used to add meaning to numbers
- making statistical generalizations about populations - provides in-depth and rich information about participants’ worldviews and their personal perspectives and subjective meanings - Numbers can be used to add precision to words, pictures, and narrative.
-provide detailed information about why a phenomenon occurs - provide fuller, deeper, more meaningful answers to a single research question.
Weaknesses - exploring new phenomena - based on small, nonrandom (i.e., purposive) samples and often is used more for exploratory or discovery purposes - difficult for a single researcher to carry out both qualitative and quantitative research
- documenting participants’ personal perspectives and personal meanings about phenomena in their lives - not very generalizable beyond the local research participants - researcher has to learn about multiple methods and approaches and understand how to mix them appropriately.
See tables 17.1, 17.2, and 17.4; pp. 469-470, 472

Mixed research is the class of research studies in which a researcher mixes or combines quantitative and qualitative research ideas, approaches, and techniques in a single research study (p. 468)

Compatibility thesis: approaches may be mixed as long as the researcher respects the assumptions of each method and mixes them in an intentional way to support answering the research questions.

  • MM is a philosophically pragmatic approach

„Dialectical pluralism: A metaparadigm and

philosophy that assumes reality is plural and relies on dialectical, dialogical, and hermeneutical approaches to learn from others and produce team-based research products.

  • MM researchers aim for Dewey's idea of warranted assertability, or a standard where very good evidence is supplied to support assertions
  • Cardinal rule in research is to use multiple sources of evidence to warrant or justify claims

Fundamental principle of MM research

researchers should thoughtfully and strategically mix or combine qualitative and quantitative methods, approaches, procedures, concepts, and other paradigm characteristics in a way that produces an overall design with multiple (divergent and convergent) and complementary (broadly viewed) strengths and nonoverlapping weaknesses (p. 471)

See Exhibit 17.1 for how MM can improve on the 'Gold Standard' randomized, controlled trial (RCT) (p. 473)

  • MM researcher should, at minimum, integrate results during data analysis and interpretation to provide full picture of the phenomenon

Types of MM Research

  • 2 fundamental dimensions
    • time sequence (concurrent or sequential)
    • paradigm approach emphasis (equal or weighted)

Design matrix

Concurrent Sequential
Equal Status QUAL + QUAN QUAL-->QUAN
QUAN-->QUAL
Dominant Status QUAL+quan
QUAN+qual
QUAL-->quan
qual-->QUAN
QUAN-->qual
quan-->QUAL