Designing And Conducting Mixed Methods Research Creswell Pdf
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- Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research (eBook)
- Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research
- Planning and Conducting Mixed Methods Studies in Mathematics Educational Research
Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research (eBook)
In this chapter, central ideas of Mixed Methods Research are presented in which qualitative and quantitative research methods are combined or integrated. In addition to the explanation of common Mixed Methods terminology, the chapter provides an overview of the most important aspects that must be reflected in the planning and conduction of a mixed-methodological research project.
On the basis of considerations on the nature of the research object and specific conditions of mathematics education research, methodological aspects of the research question, research design and data analysis are described. The chapter concludes with considerations on the challenges of Mixed Methods, as well as recommendations on the step-by-step approach to a Mixed Methods Research project.
The number of studies using both qualitative and quantitative methods or combining qualitative and quantitative data has increased significantly in recent years in mathematics education research. As shown by meta-analyses by Hart et al. More and more researchers nowadays situate their studies in the Mixed Methods Research MMR methodology, and the use of multi-methodological approaches to data analyses is increasingly taking place against a methodological background that has been described more broadly and in more detail in recent years.
Therefore, Mixed Methods studies currently enjoy great popularity in the mathematics education research community. The pragmatic and innovative combination of different research perspectives promises additional insight, which might not be accessible with a single methodological research approach.
Especially for an early career researcher in mathematics education, this can be a very difficult question to answer, because it is linked to the object of research and the exact research question, which may not yet be established at the beginning of the work.
Nonetheless, choosing a Mixed Methods research approach should not be based on general trends, because one thing is often overlooked in the decision: researchers not only have to be methodologically well-versed in qualitative methods, but also well-versed in quantitative methods. That is not all—in addition, good methodological knowledge in the field of Mixed Methods methodology is required. The time resources that early career researchers must devote to study all these methodologies should therefore be well considered, especially if they have been funded only for a few years.
However, once a researcher decides on a MMR approach and can realize it in the framework of a study, the promise of extended knowledge gain is certainly fulfilled—even if this knowledge gain may consist in the fact that the results yielded with different methods contradict each other or are not compatible at all. This chapter provides an overview on central questions and fundamental aspects for carrying out a multi-methodological research project in mathematics education research.
There is now a broad base of literature in the field of MMR, especially developed for researchers who are at the beginning of a research process e. This literature also describes the key steps in the research process and how a MMR project can be carried out.
This chapter cannot and should not replace the necessary consultation of this methodological literature, but it does contribute important subject-specific reflections and justifications from mathematics education research to this topic.
Therefore, the chapter is an introduction to the methodological background of MMR and refers to further literature. The terminology, methodological justifications and the central features of MMR are provided. Subsequently, central steps in the implementation of a MMR project are described. The discussion about Mixed Methods has gained momentum since around the s and is being led more and more by methodologically reflective literature.
From the latter understanding, the current conceptual understanding of MMR has finally emerged. For a more detailed overview on the historical development of the Mixed Methods movement, I recommend reading the descriptions by Johnson et al. However, within the Mixed Methods Research community, the term Mixed Methods is not used as uniformly as it might appear, even though more and more consensus is emerging in some areas Mertens et al.
Mixed methods research is the type of research in which a researcher or team of researchers combines elements of qualitative and quantitative research approaches e. Although this definition is cited by many authors as describing MMR, it is ultimately only one of many different definitions.
The methodological discourse within the MMR community indicates that there is disagreement, especially with regard to the definition of Mixed Methods. A too high rigidity might take the risk of being exclusive from a definitional perspective Mertens et al. Since the discussion about Mixed Methods is based in the social sciences, the definition also unconsciously reflects the social-scientific understanding of methods.
Therefore, we should ask whether and to what extent this definition is applicable to the field and to the methodology of mathematics education research see Sect. Secondly, in the context of a MMR approach, the components must be related to each other; in the terminology of MMR, this means combining components with each other if the goal of the research is to mutually complement findings of each.
Alternatively, it means integrating the components if the goal is the mutual validation of the research results. This combination or integration is always a function of the research question and the purpose of the study. Both components should provide insights into a superordinate integrated research question, which should therefore be formulated in such a way that the components can also focus on corresponding sub-questions and provide insights that can be related to the overarching question, that is, they can be integrated.
Here is a combination example from mathematical education research: In a research project, a researcher developed and carried out a teacher professional development PD module for the promotion of certain skills.
The researcher is now interested in the results of the training. For this purpose, for example, the researcher may use a questionnaire on specific attitudes or self-efficacy before and after the module, if he or she believes that attending the module has contributed to change, such as the willingness to apply the content in forthcoming lessons. At the same time, the question could also be addressed qualitatively, because the researcher is interested in what other effects the attendance to the PD module had, especially effects that might not have been anticipated.
What other impact s did the course have? Quantitative findings may be enhanced by results from case analyzes for example, to find out what might be the reason why some teachers, despite attending the PD module, do not show attitude changes. How the concrete combination or integration of the results of the different components can be realized in order to answer the overarching research question of a study must be decided on a case-by-case basis and is part of the responsibility of the researcher.
Experience has shown that this step has the greatest challenges in the research process, and because of the lack of generalizability, there is also little literature on the concrete procedure. Empirical meta-studies on the quality standards of Mixed Method studies also show that integration is often absent, and that in lower-quality Mixed Method studies, qualitative and quantitative research questions are answered rather independently Bryman , without any relation between the results produced.
First, the quantitative research approach primarily follows the confirmatory scientific method because its focus is on hypothesis testing and theory testing. On the other hand, qualitative research primarily follows the exploratory scientific method […].
Qualitative research is used to describe what is seen locally and sometimes to come up with or generate new hypotheses and theories.
Qualitative research is used when little is known about a topic or phenomenon and when one wants to discover or learn more about it. Mixed Methods researchers argue that it is important for the research process to use both exploratory and confirmatory methods. Johnson and Onwuegbuzie describe Mixed Methods in their much-cited article as the third paradigm between quantitative and qualitative research, building on the philosophy of pragmatism.
The idea behind this approach is that the combination or integration of quantitative and qualitative methods or even paradigms can compensate for the weaknesses and build on the strengths of the respective research approaches Johnson and Christensen, , p. Some of these specific strengths and weaknesses can be described as follows Johnson and Onwuegbuzie , p. The influence of confounding variables can be controlled in experimental settings. Data analysis is relatively less time-consuming often software-supported.
Results depend on the theoretical assumptions and are not supported by a curriculum. Occurring phenomena are often hidden due to the hypothesis-testing procedure confirmation bias.
There is discussion about a replicability crisis in quantitative research Open Science Collaboration On the other hand, strengths and weaknesses of qualitative research can be described as follows for instance, see Johnson and Onwuegbuzie , p. The collected data carry a subjective context of meaning of the examined persons.
Qualitative research is suitable for looking at small case numbers in depth. Since the s, however, the Mixed Methods movement has increasingly and pragmatically set itself the goal of overcoming struggles between purist representatives of both research paradigms.
In doing so, MMR methodology is understood as an integrative approach in which the strengths of one research method can be used to balance the weaknesses of the other research method.
Johnson and Onwuegbuzie describe the strengths as well as the weaknesses of the approach as follows p. Establishing a wealth of research designs with specific strengths and weaknesses. Single researchers can struggle to carry out both qualitative and quantitative research at the same time; it may require a research team.
The researcher has to be firm and confident in applying multiple research methods. Triangulation , which means seeking for convergence, corroboration and correspondence of results from different methods, often used for validity purposes. Complementarity , which means seeking for elaboration, enhancement, illustration or clarification of the results from one method with the results from the other method.
Here the aim of the mixing is to get a more holistic understanding of the research object. Development , which means seeking to use the results from one method to help develop or inform the other method, where development is broadly construed to include sampling and implementation, as well as measurement decisions.
Initiation , which means seeking the discovery of paradox, and contradictory findings, new perspectives of frameworks or the recasting of questions or results from one method with questions or results from the other method. Expansion , which means seeking to extend the breadth and range of inquiry by using different methods for different inquiry components.
This for example is particularly important in follow-up studies. One can use mixed methods to examine different aspects of a single research question, or one can use separate but related qualitative and quantitative research questions.
Fuller and richer information will be obtained in the mixed methods study. In addition to the methodological justifications for MMR approaches, mathematics education research also provides justifications that can be given on the basis of disciplinary prerequisites. On the one hand, epistemological orientations within mathematics education research play a role, but on the other hand, there is also the complexity of mathematics didactic research objects.
The research objects are in the field of tension of various disciplines such as mathematics, psychology, sociology, philosophy and educational science. They focus on different actors in different educational levels, and stand in a systemic relationship between theory and practice. Since no comprehensive discussion of the nature of mathematics educational research objects can be given here—at this point, reference should be made to the detailed considerations in Ernest , Schoenfeld , Steinbring or Wittmann —we are content with the following broad understanding of mathematics education research objects for the purpose of methodological reflection.
Mathematics educational research objects in the broadest sense refer to the teaching and learning of mathematics in social and institutionalized educational contexts, the development, structuring and implementation of teaching materials as well as the reflection and selection of educational goals. Starting from different research questions, we can distinguish various methodological approaches in mathematics education research, which according to the idea of multiple research paradigms Johnson reflect a variety of different traditions of mathematics education research.
For example, Bishop distinguishes three distinct traditions in research on mathematics education. Firstly, there is a pedagogue or educational tradition, whose aim is to bring about direct improvements in practice, while experiment and observation are key concepts of research. Methodologically, this research tradition is located in the field of observation and improvement of teaching activities, whereby as an example, experience from expert teachers will be generalized or participatory research methods will be applied.
Bishop further distinguishes the tradition of the empirical scientist, whose goal is to analyze the practice based on empirical data and to generate explanatory models. Especially in this tradition, Bishop sees a strong methodological fixation that understands mathematics education as an analytical science and uses theory to explain scientific evidence. This approach resonates with classical qualitative and quantitative empirical research methods that are used.
As a third research tradition, Bishop cites the scholastic-philosopher tradition, which sees mathematics education research as a rigorously argued theoretical reflection process. The epistemological aim from this perspective is to establish a theoretically argued position on theory-driven research questions and curricular development—strongly based on mathematical insights and logical rigor.
Griesel , p. The argument for MMR, that the combination or integration of different research methods leads to a combination of strengths or compensation for weaknesses, can be transferred to the subject area of mathematics education research, but requires an extended understanding of research methods within the MMR methodology.
The understanding of research methods in this case must be extended also to theoretically oriented subject-specific research methods. Within the social sciences, the term Mixed Methods is relatively limited to the exclusive combination of qualitative and quantitative design elements Johnson et al.
However, there are also representatives within the methodological discussion of Mixed Methods who regard the rigid separation of qualitative and quantitative methods as outdated and argue pragmatically for Mixed Methods Bazeley , Mixed Methodologies Szostak ; Christ ; Huysmans and de Bruyn or Merged Methods Gobo as an entanglement of different methodologies of any origin.
By way of example, such integration of subject-didactic and empirical methods takes place within the framework of mathematics educational design science Prediger et al. The subject-specific methodology aims at a local theory formation based on the contextual research results Bakker and van Eerde , p. For the sake of simplicity, the following sections deal explicitly with the combination and integration of qualitative and quantitative research methods, but in principle, the considerations can also be applied to the field of specific mathematics education research methods.
Researchers can focus more on the interdisciplinary nature of the research objects studied through different subject-specific methodological approaches.
Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research
SRJ is a prestige metric based on the idea that not all citations are the same. SJR uses a similar algorithm as the Google page rank; it provides a quantitative and qualitative measure of the journal's impact. SNIP measures contextual citation impact by wighting citations based on the total number of citations in a subject field. Mixed methods research is the combination and integration of qualitative and quantitative methods in the same study. Although researchers have combined qualitative and quantitative data for many years, current conceptualizations of mixed methods research did not emerge until the s. Mixed methods research has developed rapidly in these last few years, emerging as a research methodology with a recognized name and distinct identity Denscombe, , especially in some fields such as education, health sciences, psychology and sociology. An important aspect regarding mixed methods research is why to use this methodological approach.
Planning and Conducting Mixed Methods Studies in Mathematics Educational Research
John W. He has authored numerous articles and 30 books on mixed methods research, qualitative research, and research design. In , he co-led a National Institute of Health working group on the best practices of mixed methods research in the health sciences, and in served as a visiting professor at Harvards School of Public Health.
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In this chapter, central ideas of Mixed Methods Research are presented in which qualitative and quantitative research methods are combined or integrated.
Shannon-Baker'Creswell and Plano Clark do excellent work in showing the evolution of mixedmethods. International Research Association. In , he joined the staff of family medicine at the University. It also provides a discussion of a diverse array of empirical studies from prominent and emerging mixed methods scholars, highlighting the strength and potential of this field for social and behavioral sciences. One of the highlights of this edition is the addition of scaffolds that guide writing sections of a mixed-methods study.
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