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Presentation for the PGR conference.
"At an early stage in our research careers we get taught about paradigms and methodologies. Sometimes we might get the impression that we need to ‘take a side’ or decide on a study approach we like best. In this presentation I will reiterate that what’s important is that “The question drives the methods, not the other way around.” (Feuer, Towne & Shavelson, 2002, p.8). In that light, we should not work from a preference for a certain methodology but start with the question. As a result, one could argue, that the distinction between quantitative and qualitative methodologies is unhelpful. This is even more so the case in recent years, where innovative research methods seem to combine different views. I will give some examples of research projects I have been involved in, where I think the distinction between what is deemed ‘qualitative’ or ‘quantitative’ has become less meaningful. These examples will include a project where classroom interactions are modelled by using Social Network Analysis, projects where large volumes of texts are analysed with computer science approaches, and how you can even can let computers help you with your audio transcription tasks. By combining disciplines and approaches, we aim to best fulfil the aims of a study: the questions leads, the methodology follows.