When selecting the methods to be followed for a research project, a researcher may not find it sufficient to restrict themselves to a solely qualitative or quantitative approach. In such cases, to enable an individual to obtain the maximum understanding from their research data, a researcher may opt for a mixed methods approach. Mixed method studies involve the combination of qualitative and quantitative methodological techniques to collect, analyze and interpret data. Just like any other research approach, the mixed method approach has its own advantages and disadvantages and should be selected carefully.
When should a researcher opt for mixed methods research?
Mixed method research is an excellent approach to be used when a researcher wants to validate the findings of one method using another method. It can also be used if an individual wants to build on the results from one method. For instance, qualitative studies provide initial exploratory information that helps build a foundation for a particular phenomenon. Quantitative data can then be used to understand the phenomenon in more detail or to help to formulate a theory.
What does Rehoboth Academic Services help you with?
Rehoboth Academic Services offers support in the following areas:
- Selection of the appropriate mixed methods research approach
- Development and testing of qualitative research instruments, such as interviews
- Development and testing of quantitative research instruments, such as questionnaires
- Development and validation of pilot studies and surveys
- Analysis of the collected data
- Interpretation of the results
What are the types of mixed methods research?
Some of the different types of mixed methods research are as follows:
- Exploratory research: Qualitative research methods are initially adopted, followed by quantitative methods.
- Explanatory sequential: Quantitative research methods are initially adopted, followed by qualitative data collection and analysis.
- Convergent parallel: The two methods of data collection and analysis, qualitative and quantitative, are carried out concurrently and the findings are later compared.
- Embedded design: Data collection and analysis from both the methods takes place concurrently, but are carried out within a specific qualitative or quantitative framework.
- Transformative: Qualitative and quantitative data gathering and analysis may or may not take place simultaneously, but the research methods are carried out with a specified framework.
- Multiphase: Independent qualitative and quantitative research is conducted, after which a dedicated mixed methods approach is used.
Selecting a mixed methods approach for your research study can be difficult but ultimately yields a wealth of information.
Are you thinking about using a mixed methods approach for your study but don’t know where to begin? If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact us.