Mixed Methods Research

Prerequisites (knowledge of topic)
Students should have basic knowledge of quantitative research and qualitative research.

Hardware
Projector for slide shows. Laptops and software are not required for this course.

Software
None

Learning objectives
At the end of the course the student will be able to do the following:
•    Compare quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research.
•    Define and justify mixed methods research.
•    Explain the major kinds of mixed methods research.
•    Write research questions for mixed methods research studies.
•    Explain how to construct basic and advanced research designs in mixed methods research.
•    Explain the multiple kinds of data collection appropriate in mixed methods research.
•    Explain the major methodologies, theoretical frameworks, and paradigms popular in mixed methods research.
•    Explain sampling methods used in mixed methods research.
•    Explain how to produce high quality/justified mixed methods research, including the multiple kinds of validity.
•    Explain how mixed methods data analysis adds to traditional quantitative and qualitative data analysis, including cross-over analysis and integration.
•    Explain how to structure reports and articles in mixed methods research.
•    Explain how to publish and disseminate mixed methods research results.

Course content
The content is elaborated, day by day, in the section on structure. We will complete an inventory on philosophical/scientific and methodological beliefs, examine major paradigms in mixed methods research, compare qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods (always including important scholars in the fields), examine multiple types of mixed methods research, learn how to write research questions that suggest the need for mixed methods research, examine major methods of data collection including between- and within mixing of well-known methods, learn about the “popular mixed methods designs” and how to construct better designs appropriate for your research questions and situation, learn about producing defensible/justifiable mixed methods research including major types of validity to be addressed in particular studies, learn how to move beyond quantitative and qualitative data analysis and conduct mixed methods data analysis including cross-over analysis, learn how to structure and write mixed methods proposals and manuscripts.      

Structure
Day 1:
•    Comparative overview of quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research.
•    Students complete an inventory so they can articulate their philosophical/scientific and methodological beliefs and assumptions.
•    Overview the history of mixed methods research in the social and behavioral sciences including business research.
•    Discuss a short empirical mixed methods research article.

Day 2:
•    Examine the many purposes of mixing methods (and methodologies) in mixed methods research.
•    Discuss how to write research questions in mixed methods research.
•    Discuss multiple methods of data collection in mixed methods research.
•    Discuss how to transform traditional methodologies into mixed methodologies (e.g., mixed experiments, mixed grounded theory).
•    Begin examination of common mixed methods research designs and how to construct more nuanced designs for your mixed methods research study.
•    Discuss an empirical and a methodological journal article.

Day 3:
•    Continue discussion of mixed methods research designs.
•    Examine the multiple and combined sampling methods used in mixed methods research.
•    Discuss the issue of causation in mixed methods research.
•    Examine the kinds of validity used in mixed methods research.
•    Discuss assigned empirical and methodological mixed methods journal articles.

Day 4:
•    Catch up on previous topics.
•    Discuss data analysis approaches in mixed methods research, including cross-over analysis.
•    Discuss how to structure mixed methods research proposals and research manuscripts.
•    Discuss assigned empirical and methodological mixed methods journal articles.

Day 5:
•    Discuss how to write mixed methods research manuscripts.
•    Each student presents their brief research proposal following format provided and discussed earlier in the class.

Literature

Mandatory
The exact reading list and pdf files will be available to download a month before the course begins.

Examination part

Class participation: 20%
Assignment 1, research questions: 5% (Written)
Assignment 2, Articles summaries/critiques: 25% (Written)
Assignment 3, Brief research proposal, 40% (Written)
Assignment 4, brief presentation with handout, 10% (Oral presentation)

Assignment 1: Research questions: Written statement of 2-5 research questions of interest for your research. (Even if you are not sure about conducting the study, it will still be useful in this class to think about a study that would be of interest.)

Assignment 2: Article summary/critique of 10 mixed methods research journal articles (some are assigned to everyone), including several in your area of interest (one page long for each summary/critique).

Assignment 3: Brief empirical research proposal: Describe your research question/s, data collection, analysis plan, and expected contributions (no longer than 10 pages).

Here are the starting headings for a typical proposal in this course/workshop:
 1. Working Title
 2. Introduction (short overview of topic/problem/opportunity and theoretical motivation)
 3. Purpose of the Study (“The purpose of the proposed study is ____.”)
 4. Research Questions (typically 2-5 research questions)
 5. Paradigm(s), Methodology(ies), and Methods  
 6. Mixed Methods Research Design
 7. Sampling Methods
 8. Validity Types and Strategies
 9. Expected Data Analyses
10. Strengths and Weaknesses of the Proposed Study (optional)

Assignment 4: A very short presentation (depending on the number of students) with a handout to share with the others for discussion of your proposed study.

There will not be a cumulative “knowledge exam” in this course. What is most important is to learn the material/readings, discuss the material/readings, and apply your knowledge in a short research proposal of interest to you.

Supplementary aids
See above.

Examination content
See above.

Examination relevant literature
See above.