This week our reading was on Mixed Methods Research Design. I enjoyed the chapter, but also found this video by the author, John Creswell, and felt like it did a really excellent job of hitting the main points.
<p-lg>The main point that I took away from the reading and video was that Mixed Methods research is not Mixed Methods if the qualitative and quantitative studies don’t <p-lg>inform each other. Just doing both qualitative and quantitative research in the same study doesn’t make it “mixed methods”. <p-lg>
<p-lg>What makes it mixed methods is when you use both quantitative and qualitative data to answer the same question and draw conclusions. Dr. Creswell defines Mixed <p-lg>Methods in these 4 points: <p-lg>
- <p-lg>Collecting and analyzing qualitative and quantitative data (open- and closed-ended) in response to research questions.<p-lg>
- <p-lg>Using rigorous qualitative and quantitative methods<p-lg>
- <p-lg>Combining or integrating quantitative and qualitative data using a specific type of mixed methods design<p-lg>
- <p-lg>Framing the mixed methods design within a broader framework (e.g. experiment, theory, or philosophy) <p-lg>
<p-lg>In the video, Creswell also gives some great examples of how mixed methods works in the real world. My favorite example was of Shane Battier, a famous basketball <p-lg>player. As he got into his professional basketball carrier, people started looking really closely at his stats (as one does with professional basketball players). What people started to realize was that he actually didn’t score many points, snag many rebounds, steal many balls, or dish out many assists.
<p-lg>So what made him a great basketball player? Aren’t stats everything? <p-lg>
<p-lg>Of course not. The stats (quantitative data) informed the researchers that something else was going on and that they needed to do further digging. <p-lg>
<p-lg>What the researchers found as they observed Battier’s games were things like that he would block his opponent’s vision with his hand and watch whether they drove <p-lg>left or right. They also collected quotes from conversations of his teammates.
<p-lg>They found that it wasn’t stats that made him a great basketball player. It was strategy and being a team player. <p-lg>
<p-lg>In this example, the qualitative research didn’t agree with the quantitative research, but it informed the researchers that something else was going on that was outside the realm of stats. This is known as an Explanatory Sequential Design. The Quantitative results inform the Qualitative research design.<p-lg>
<p-lg>The other 2 mixed methods research designs are a Qualitative Exploration (basically reverse Explanatory Sequential Design), where we start with Qualitative data collection and use it to build an instrument for quantitative data collection. <p-lg>
<p-lg>The other one is a Convergent Design, where quantitative and qualitative data are gathered and analyzed separately, but then we interpret them together. <p-lg>