Research MethodologiesQuantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Methods
Consider . . .• “The research design is the ‘blueprint’ that enables the investigator to come up with solutions to these problems and guides him or her in the various stages of the research” (Frankfort-Nachmias & Nachmias, 2008, p. 89) Frankfort-Nachmias, C., & Nachmias, D. (2008). Research Methods in the Social Sciences (7th ed.). New York, NY: Worth.
Definition• Creswell (2003) describes qualitative research as a procedure of research that relies on text and image data collection, which draws a diverse inquiry to the research plan – More so, this research method requires closer attention to the interpretive nature of the study and situating the research with political, social, and cultural context of the readers, participants, and even the researcher of the study (Creswell, 2007). Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Definition• Qualitative research typically grows out of in- depth interviews, specific observations, or written documents (Patton, 2002).• Consider that “a questionnaire or interview that asks both fixed choice [or closed] questions and open-ended questions is an example of how quantitative measurement and qualitative inquiry are often combined” (Patton, 2002) Patton, M. Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
• Quantitative methods “use theory deductively and places it toward the beginning of the plan for a study . . . [it] becomes a framework for the entire study . . .” (Creswell, 2003, p. 125). Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Defining Surveys• Survey Design – To provide a quantitative description of trends, attitudes, or opinions of a population• Components of a Survey Method Plan – The Survey Design – The Population and Sample – Instrumentation – Variables in the Study – Data Analysis and Interpretation Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
A Survey Method Plan• The Survey Design – Provide a rationale for using a survey – Indicate the type of survey design: • Cross-sectional (data collected at one point in time) • Longitudinal (data collected over time)• The Population and Sample – Specify the characteristics of the population (size, sampling frame) – Specify the sampling procedures • Single stage or multi-stage • Random or convenience – Use a sample size formula to determine the needed sample size Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
A Survey Method Plan• Instrumentation – Provide detailed information about the survey instrument • How developed, Pilot testing • Sample items, Types of scores – Describe the validity and reliability scores of past and/or current uses of the instrument • Validity: whether one can draw meaning and useful inferences from scores on the instruments • Reliability: whether scores resulting from past use are internally consistent, have high test-retest correlations, and result from consistent scoring – Describe steps for administering survey and ensuring a high response rate Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Defining Experiments• Experimental Design – To test the impact of a treatment on an outcome, controlling for other factors that might influence that outcome• Components of an Experimental Method Plan – Participants – Variables – Instrumentation and Materials – Experimental Procedures – Threats to Validity Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
An Experimental Method Plan• Participants – Describe the selection of participants • Random or convenience – Describe the assignment of participants to groups • Random or not; Consider matching participants – Describe the procedures for determining the number of participants per group• Variables – Clarify the groups – Identify the independent variable(s), including the treatment variable – Identify the dependent variable(s), the outcomes Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
An Experimental Method Plan• Instrumentation and Materials – Discuss instruments • development, items, and scales • reliability and validity reports of past uses – Thoroughly discuss materials used for the treatment• Experimental Procedures – Identify the type of experiment • Pre-experimental, true experiment, quasi-experiment, and single-subject designs – Identify the type of comparisons: within-group or between-subject – Provide a visual model • X = treatment • O = observation Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
An Experimental Method Plan• Consider Threats to Validity – Threats to internal validity: procedures, treatments, or experiences of the participants that threaten the researchers ability to draw conclusions about cause and effect – Threats to external validity: characteristics of the sample, setting, or timing that threaten the researchers ability to generalize the conclusions to a population – Threats to statistical conclusion validity: inadequate statistical power or violation of statistical assumptions that threaten the researchers ability to draw statistical inferences – Threats to construct validity: inadequate definitions and measures of variables that threaten the researchers ability to measure relevant constructs Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Threats to Validity (Tables 8.5 & 8.6)• Threats to Internal Validity • Threats to External Validity – History – Interaction of selection and – Maturation treatment – Regression – Interaction of setting and – Selection treatment – Interaction of history and – Mortality treatment – Diffusion of treatment – Compensatory/resentful demoralization – Compensatory rivalry – Testing – Instrumentation Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
An Experimental Method Plan• The Procedure – Describe in detail the procedure for conducting the experiment – Procedures for pre-test post-test control group design • Measure dependent variable as a pre-test • Assign participants to matched pairs based on scores • Randomly assign one member of each pair to the control and experimental group • Expose experimental group to the treatment • Measure dependent variable as a post-test from both groups • Compare groups statistically Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
The Nature of Mixed Methods Research• Describe this approach in your proposal – Trace its history – Provide a definition • Mixed methods research is an approach to inquiry that combines or associates both qualitative and quantitative forms. It involves philosophical assumptions, the use of qualitative and quantitative approaches, and the mixing of both approaches in a study. Thus, it is more than simply collecting and analyzing both kinds of data; it also involves the use of both approaches in tandem so that the overall strength of a study is greater than either qualitative or quantitative research (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2007). – Discuss the challenges with this approach Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Planning Mixed Methods Procedures Timing Weighting Mixing Theorizing No Equal Integrating Explicit SequenceConcurrentSequential - Qualitative Connecting ImplicitQualitative firstSequential - Quantitative EmbeddingQuantitative first Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Data Collection Procedures• Identify the types of quantitative and qualitative data• Develop a rigorous sampling procedure that may include aspects of both random and purposeful sampling• Provide details in a visual diagram of your study Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Data Analysis and Validation Procedures• Match data analysis to the mixed methods strategy of inquiry• Popular procedures include: – Data transformation – Explore outliers – Instrument development – Examine multiple levels – Create a matrix• Validation procedures: – Quantitative procedures (e.g., validity and reliability of scores) – Qualitative procedures (e.g., check accuracy of findings) – Mixed methods procedures (e.g., legitimation of the mixed methods study) Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Report Presentation Structure• Report structure follows from the mixed methods strategy of inquiry – Sequential study: • Organize the report into sections ordered to match the phases of the study – Concurrent study: • Organize the data collection into separate sections • The analysis and interpretation may be combined – Transformative study: • Use either a sequential or concurrent report structure • Advance the advocacy issue at the beginning and an agenda for change at the end Creswell, J. (2003). Research Design (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.