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Using mixed methods in

educational research
Professor Tristram Hooley

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Some key terms


Methodology the overall philosophy of what you are
doing.
Research design how you translate this philosophy
into a series of practical strategies related to the current
research questions.
Methods specific techniques of data collection and
analysis.

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Overview
What are mixed methods?
The methods menu
Mixing strategies
An example project

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Overview
What are mixed methods?
The methods menu
Mixing strategies
An example project

www.derby.ac.uk/icegs
www.derby.ac.uk

Alternative names

Mixed methods research


Multi-methods research
Integrated research methods
Combined research methods
Hybrid research
Etc.

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Mixed methods research


Describes research designs which use multiple methods,
often combining methods drawn from both quantitative and
qualitative paradigms.
It is possible to arrive at this position from a range of
ontological and epistemological stances, but it is not simply
the best of both worlds nor is it a compromise.

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Why do we combine different research


methods?

Pragmatic
reasons

Paradigmatic
reasons

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Who is planning to use mixed methods

Why?

What are you mixing?

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Overview
What are mixed methods?
The methods menu
Mixing strategies
An example project

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What methods are you planning to use?

What other methods are you aware of?

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A (inevitably flawed) methods


framework
Exploratory

Evaluative

Quantitative

Qualitative

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Some methods

Surveys
Interviews
Focus groups
Data mining
Field work
Observation
Document analysis
Visual methods
Experiments

And many more and many


variations

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Overview
What are mixed methods?
The methods menu
Mixing strategies
An example project

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www.derby.ac.uk

The concept of research design


Research projects should be designed to address the
research questions that they seek to answer.
Consequently each one should be different.
Mixed methods research designs can be fixed or
emergent.
However the following generic designs may be useful in
stimulating thinking. Note the typology is mine but draws
on various other typologies from the literature.

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More is more

Lots of data is collected using lots of different methods.


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Research question #1

Research question #2

Method #3

Method #2

Method #1

Differentiation

Research question #3

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Embedded

Quantitative data collection


Qualitative data
e.g. extended open
answer questions

Visual data e.g.


submission of a
photo or image

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Triangulation
Research questions

Method #1

Method #2
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Connected

Testing

Focusing

Focusing

Testing and
exploring

Defining

Exploring

Defining
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Interwoven methods

Shared questions across methods


Common coding frameworks
Cross-cutting analysis
Data may be merged
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Overview
What are mixed methods?
The methods menu
Mixing strategies
An example project

www.derby.ac.uk/icegs
www.derby.ac.uk

Brightside

Hooley, T., Hutchinson, J. & Neary, S. (2015).


Ensuring quality in online career mentoring. British Journal of Guidance and
Counselling. Published online.
Hooley, T., Hutchinson, J. and Neary S. (2014)
Evaluating Brightside's Approach to Online Mentoring. Derby: International Centre for
Guidance Studies. University of Derby.
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References

Bazeley, P. (2009). Editorial: Integrating data analyses in mixed methods research. Journal of
Mixed Methods Research, 3(3): 203-207.
Creswell, J. W., Goodchild, L., & Turner, P. (1996). Integrated qualitative and quantitative research:
Epistemology, history, and designs. In Smart, J. (Ed.), Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and
Research (Vol. 11, pp. 90136). New York: Agathon Press.
Cresswell, J.W. & Plano Clark, V.L. (2010). Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research.
London: Sage.
Greene, J. C., Caracelli, V. J., & Graham, W. F. (1989). Toward a conceptual framework for mixedmethod evaluation designs. Educational evaluation and policy analysis, 11(3), 255-274.
Johnson, R. B., & Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2004). Mixed methods research: A research paradigm
whose time has come. Educational Researcher, 33(7), 14-26.
Morse, J. M., & Niehaus, L. (2009). Mixed Method Design: Principles and Procedures (Vol. 4). CA:
Left Coast Press.
Symonds, J. E., & Gorard, S. (2008). The death of mixed methods: Research labels and their
casualties. Presentation to the British Educational Research Association Annual Conference,
Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh. .

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Tristram Hooley
Professor of Career Education
International Centre for Guidance Studies
University of Derby
http://www.derby.ac.uk/icegs
t.hooley@derby.ac.uk
@pigironjoe
Blog at
http://adventuresincareerdevelopment.wordpress.com
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