A Step-by-Step Guide to Using Mixed Methods Research

Posted on February 10, 2022 by Cheapest Assignment

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Mixed methods research, often known as “hybrid methods” or “multi-method,” entails combining approaches, question kinds, or tools to generate insights.

In practice, this entails approaching a problem from multiple perspectives in the hopes of gaining a better understanding. Many mixed methods research has a qualitative as well as a quantitative component. A qualitative method might add context to a pattern discovered in a quantitative study or address the “why” behind it. A quantitative method can aid in the validation of a qualitatively discovered pattern or trend.

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The term “mixed methods research” refers to a study that combines qualitative and quantitative research approaches. This research paradigm has grown in popularity and uses across a variety of academic and research fields.

The main principle behind the mixed methods research strategy is to use inquiry approaches. At various stages of the qualitative research process, this applies to both qualitative and quantitative research instruments.

The mixed methods research technique, which is a result of the pragmatist worldview, derives from the requirement to conduct holistic research that covers all bases.

The various components of this efficient study strategy are investigated in this article.

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Discuss Mixed Methods Research and How Does It Work?

A Look at Its Origins and Key Characteristics

The limitations and ongoing disputes between the two primary research paradigms are the origins of the Mixed-Methods study design.

Numerous studies have relied on quantitative research or the positivist paradigm. The freedom from all biases, emotional detachment and objective approach, and empirical substantiation of the stated research hypothesis are all important features of this study.

Qualitative analysis A constructivist or interpretivist paradigm is what purists believe in. They conduct time and context-focused generalization as well as value-bound research with a specific and subjective focus on individual interpretations.

The goal of the Mixed Methods Approach is to bring both viewpoints together in a complementary way.

Since the dawn of time, there have been paradigm wars. The efficacy and widespread use of both research paradigms across a variety of fields secured their survival.

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In the 1980s and 1990s, a truce between the two primary paradigms was called for. Many researchers believed that both quantitative and qualitative methods were interchangeable.

Apart from qualitative and quantitative research designs, the mixed-methods study is often recognized as the third primary research paradigm.

In the next section, we’ll look at the major elements and characteristics of the mixed methods approach.

The Mixed Method Design’s Key Features and Characteristics

  • A Stanford University article cites important literature that describes mixed methodologies study design as a collection of research strands from both paradigms.
  • The mixed methods research design has six features that emphasize how it blends the qualities of both approaches.
  • Designing correctly prepared research questions to collect and analyze both qualitative and quantitative research data with rigour.
  • Using both types of data in a complementary manner to develop stronger inferences by combining and integrating them.
  • Depending on the nature of the research and the emphasis of the research objectives, one or both types of data may be prioritized.

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  • Using applicable tools from both methodologies to frame the procedures in a single research project or many phases of research
  • Combining techniques into specialized research designs that enable in-depth research to be conducted
  • As can be seen, such basic qualities present a fairly broad view of mixed methods research methodology and design.

Benefits of Using a Mixed Methods Approach

  • The most substantial advantages of mixed-method research stem from the requirement to use the method in the first place. To put it another way, the mixed methods approach allows researchers to look at research from both ends of the technique spectrum.
  • The mixed-methods technique allows for more in-depth study and uncovers more insights. Whether in sociology or business studies, mixed methods research allows for the integration of subjective and objective investigative measures.

As a result, the method adds value to every research project, regardless of domain.

  • It also provides a broad scope for gaining a better grasp of research challenges and phenomena. Triangulating one set of data with another allows for more accurate inferences than relying just on a single set of assumptions derived from a single method.

Let’s look at the aspects that influence how a multi-method approach is designed, as well as the various sorts of mixed-method research designs.

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Mixed-Method Designs Are Divided Into Three Major Types

Here are three of the most often utilized mixed-method approaches.

The Explanatory Strategy in Sequence

The acquisition and analysis of quantitative data come after the collection and analysis of quantitative data in this technique. Both phases are given equal weight, and data are combined during the interpretation step.

However, the primary focus is on explaining quantitative results by delving further into individual impacts and assisting in the explanation of unexpected outcomes.

The advantages of this strategy are that it is reasonably simple to follow due to clear and distinct stages, and the concurrent strategies are easy to identify. The increased time consumption when both phases are given equal emphasis is one of its flaws.

The Exploratory Strategy in Sequence

The gathering and analysis of qualitative data take place before the gathering and analysis of quantitative data. Both stages are assigned equal priority, however, the actual priority might be given to either.

During the interpretation process, data is combined. This approach is used to study a phenomenon by putting aspects of a theory to the test, generalizing qualitative findings from several samples, and constructing appropriate apparatus to perform a full examination.

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It has several advantages, such as its relative simplicity due to its clear and distinct stages. It’s also simpler to describe than competing strategies.

The Transformative Sequential Strategy

In this variation, there are two independent data gathering phases that do not have to be completed in any particular order.

Data integration is done during the interpretation step, and either qualitative or qualitative data is prioritized.

This mixed-method approach variety, on the other hand, is guided by a theoretical perspective/conceptual framework/clear ideology, with data being deemed secondary in importance.

As is obvious, the fundamental goal of this form of mixed methods design is to support the researcher’s theoretical perspective. The only flaw in this strategy is that it takes a long time to implement and there isn’t much literature on the subject.

Before we wrap off this article, here are some sample mixed-method research questions for the reader’s consideration.

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Questions for Mixed Methods Research

The context for the following questions comes from L.E Houtz’s research into the differences between middle school and junior high instructional tactics, which was published in a Sagepub.com article on the mixed methods approach in 1995.

The following are the mixed-method study variations of LE Houtz’s qualitative and quantitative research questions:

  • What role do interviews with teachers, principals, and university consultants have in explaining any quantifiable disparities in achievement between middle school and junior high students?

Take note of how the question connects the two types of data. This is the most important aspect of the mixed methods approach.

This feature is also highlighted in another way of wording the aforementioned question.

  • What themes do the teachers use to explain why middle school pupils perform worse than junior high students? 

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And with this, this article comes to be over. I hope you found it useful.

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