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Chapter 23: Mixed-Methods Research

Activity 23.1: Mixed-Methods Research Questions Activity 23.2: Identifying Mixed-Methods Designs Activity 23.3: Research Questions in Mixed-Methods Designs Activity 23.4: Identifying Terms in Mixed-Methods Studies

Activity 23.1: Mixed-Methods Research Questions Which of the questions would lend themselves well to mixed-methods research? 1. What is the relationship between science achievement scores and reading achievement scores among sixth-graders? 2. Are homeless children more likely to be depressed, as assessed by depression inventories and analysis of their diaries? 3. What are the important variables that lead to substance abuse among pre-teens, and are these variables related to one another? 4. What are the lived experiences of child prodigies in the field of music? 5. What distinct groupings of parents are revealed by demographic data (e.g., age, education, income, and number of children in the family), and how are these groups qualitatively different from one another? 6. Can cooperative learning improve the performance of fourth-graders on standardized mathematics tests, compared to a comparison group undergoing traditional instruction?

Activity 23.2: Identifying Mixed-Methods Designs Identify each of the following mixed-methods studies as one of the following: (a) (b) (c) Exploratory Design Explanatory Design Triangulation Design

1. _______ A researcher is interested in studying the relationship between junk food consumption and school grades. She has students fill out a questionnaire that asks which junk foods people eat and how much they eat. This yields an overall junk food score. She correlates this score with student grades in math, science, English, and history. She then conducts interviews with individual students to find out: (a) if there may be differences in the correlations with junk food consumption across the different subject areas, and (b) whether there are other factors (e.g., student exercise) that mitigate the potential negative effects of junk food consumption. 2. _______ A psychologist wants to study the effects of bullying on student selfesteem and school violence. She asks each of 32 teachers to nominate two students: one who is often bullied, and one who is never bullied. She administers a self-esteem inventory to each student. She also checks school records to discover how many times each student has received referrals to the front office for aggressive behavior. The non-bullied and bullied groups are then compared on these variables. A subgroup of six students from each category is also shown a picture of two students in a fight. They are then asked to write an essay about what causes the fight, and whether either of the students was justified in fighting. These essays are then subjected to content analysis in an attempt to determine whether one group finds violence more acceptable than the other. 3. _______ An educator wishes to understand the important components of student satisfaction with online courses. He holds focus groups with students currently enrolled in online courses and identifies three variables that seem important to student satisfaction: (a) sufficient technical support for dealing with computer problems; (b) clear expectations for student performance at the start of the course; and (c) fast feedback (less than three days) on student assignments and tests. Using these results, he constructs a measure that has five questions measuring each of the three variables. The next semester, he administers this measure to 500 students enrolled in online courses, and correlates scores on the three variables with course evaluations. These results help validate his earlier qualitative findings.

Activity 23.3: Research Questions in Mixed-Methods Designs When designing a mixed-methods research study, it is helpful to have both quantitative and qualitative research questions. These questions not only demonstrate that the study is truly a mixed-methods design, but also help to guide analysis of the data that has been collected during the study. Which of the follow questions cover both quantitative and qualitative issues? 1. What do teachers in large cities think about school security? Is it different in small cities? 2. How do rural parents see the educational needs of their children? Is this related to income and educational level? 3. How much verbal violence is shown in family interaction? Is the amount related to the extent of television viewing? 4. Is the amount of family time together related to academic success, and does counseling affect both?

Activity 23.4: Identifying Terms in Mixed-Methods Studies Match the following terms with their corresponding definitions: (a) Quantizing (b) Qualitizing (c) Internal Validity (d) Generalizability (e) Credibility (f) Transferability 1. _______ A term from quantitative research that corresponds to the soundness of a studys design. When this is high, there are no alternative explanations for the findings the only explanation is the manipulation created by the experimenter. 2. _______ The conversion of quantitative data into qualitative data. 3. _______ A term from qualitative research that corresponds to how justified it is to apply the results of the current study in a new situation of environment. 4. _______ A term from quantitative research that describes the extent to which the results of a given study will apply across changes in situations or participants. 5. _______ The conversion of qualitative data into quantitative data. 6. _______ A term from qualitative research that refers to the soundness of a studys conclusions. When this is high, we believe the researchers interpretation of his or her results.