At the heart of this compilation, however, is methodology; specifically, the unique and shared design considerations in qualitative and quantitative research as well as the synergy derived from mixed methods designs.
“Methodology: 26 Articles on Design Considerations in Qualitative, Quantitative, & Mixed Methods Research — Plus, Thoughts on becoming a methodologist” is available for download here.
Among the 21 articles published in Research Design Review in 2018, five focused on a few fundamental aspects of the qualitative research approach. These articles address such topics as the meaning researchers give to qualitative research and whether researchers are really conducting qualitative “research” or uncovering qualitative “information.” These articles also include a discussion about the idea that a consideration of qualitative methods is separate from attention to paradigm orientation, and two articles are directed at what it means to be “literate” in qualitative research design and how rigor throughout the quality chain results in useful outcomes by way of new hypotheses, next steps, and/or applications to other contexts.
It is with great expectation that mounting attention is being given to mixed methods research (MMR). The utilization of various methods – a combination of those that focus on the quantity of something (i.e., quantitative methods) along with ways to explore the quality of something (i.e., any number of qualitative methods and techniques) – holds the promise of “richer,” more encompassing research solutions that go beyond the one-sided mono-method design alternative. Indeed, MMR offers the potential of added value to both the sponsors as well as the consumers of research.
There are many different ways to configure a MMR study. As briefly mentioned in a January 2017 RDR post, there are various typologies or defined formats that can guide an MMR design; better still, however, are flexible approaches to MMR that enable the researcher to shift methods as warranted by incremental outcomes and fully integrate methods throughout the process.
Regardless of the roadmap the researcher follows, it is often the case that, at some point in time in a MMR study, a qualitative component will be conducted to help explain or give deeper understanding to survey data. This Read Full Text