November 15, 2018
On Saturday, 10th November 2018, the DoctorateHub held the next interactive webinar on Designing and Implementing your Mixed Method Research. The group of participants were taken through the philosophical challenge of using mixed method research, differences between methodology and method, followed by what mixed method research is, the philosophical position, typologies of mixed method research design, the six design approaches and challenges faced, research questions and the ten questions we need to answer before opting for mixed method research, writing up mixed method research and what journals look for in mixed method write ups.
We were led through the nuances of mixed method research, culminating in the characteristics of mixed method research that incorporates both quantitative and qualitative questions; uses pragmatism; has both a confirmatory and exploratory approach; both inductive and deductive in logic; uses mixed research designs; mixed data settings (as in numeric and narrative); uses probability, purposive and mixed sampling; integrates thematic and statistical data conversion; and has inference quality and transferability. The aim being to simultaneously address a range of confirmatory and exploratory questions, provide stronger inferences and the opportunity for greater variety of divergent views.
It is the order or sequence that creates the dominance of the mixed method, including at what point in the research design; such as parallel, sequentially, convergent, multi-level or fully integrated. This can occur at the design, during data collection, data analysis or interpretation.
We were advised that in mixed methods research, generating research questions need to provide the ‘what and how’ or ‘what and why’, leading to final conclusions and explanations with interrelated QUAN and QUAL inference. Other issues faced are around sampling, where stratified purposive sampling is a common; data quality; data analysis where it is tied directly to the five research designs, with conversion and sequential mixed design further divided.
Of note, we discussed the fact that making inference is both an art and a science. Inferences are conclusions and interpretations made on the basis of collected data; with inferences being transferable to other similar settings. Inferences need to be interpretively and theoretically consistent, repeatable and have interpretive efficacy.
We concluded with being taken through the focus the Journal of Mixed Methods Research (JMMR) looks for, what is considered a good mixed methods empirical study and the type of criteria used by an Editor of JMMR.
Follows are a sample of the many slides and discussion points:
Those attending were provided with a full slide deck and additional reference materials. The full slide deck is also available at the Peers4Progress class room, which provides you with a meeting place to support ongoing discussions, and collect and share resources. PLEASE NOTE: to access Peers4Progress, you will need to LOG-IN to the training space and then self-enroll at the Peers4Progress board. For newcomers to the training space: you can create an account free of charge – follow this link to create your account
One note is that you should always generate a diagram of your design to show clearly how you are approaching the mixed method research. As always, we welcome your thoughts on topics that would be valuable to you or others going forward.