Abbreviated Mixed Methods
A quality research study requires the researchers to select and use the best method s as well as methodologies to be used to carry out the study. The methodologies could be qualitative, quantitative or mixed method. Quantitative research can be defined as a formal and systematic process through which information is obtained from numerical data while qualitative research includes the use of questionnaires and surveys to collect data. This uses different tools and techniques that include questionnaires, focus group discussions and interviews. A mixed method of research involves the use of both the quantitative and qualitative methods and techniques. Researchers have had differing views on the best method of research to use with the qualitative researchers arguing their methods to be the best while quantitative researchers argue otherwise. This research aims at looking at the mixed method as an alternative and effective research method to carry out research.
The use of the mono method of research that involves the use of either qualitative or quantitative methods has been regarded as a great hindrance to the development of social science and as one that produces unreliable findings. Based on this, the use of mixed methods in carrying out research studies could be an effective way of ensuring that ensuring that the obtained results or findings are up to the mark and that they clearly explain the phenomena in question. The design uses texts and numerals (quantitative) as well as text analysis and statistics (qualitative). The effectiveness of this method however has to be studied and findings used to make suitable and correct conclusions.
Does the type of research method affect the quality of obtained findings?
Is the mono method a hindrance to the development of social science?
Does the mixed method produce reliable results?
Is the mixed method an effective research technique?
The data would be collected from a well selected and representative sample to ensure that the findings are a representative of the concerned population. The participants will include research students in a local university. The main techniques to be used include the use of surveys, questionnaires as well as focus group discussions. Experimental design will in this case be used.
A mixture of quantitative and qualitative methods will ensure that narrative and statistical data is obtained to enhance accuracy. The use of both the quantitative methods will ensure complementation. The use of mixed method will also be an effective way of dealing away with some of the problems emanating from the design selected (Creswell, 2003).Qualitative method will be an effective way of interacting with the respondents and of acquiring the various views and ideas. This method however is however likely to produce unreliable results as the respondents might give varying views which may be difficult to conclude and give overall findings.
The method also makes it very difficult for the researcher to establish the difference between the quantity and quality of the obtained information and to make true and relevant conclusions (Onwuegbuzie & Leech, 2003). The quantitative method on the other hand allows for the specific research problem to be identified with the dependent and independent variables being very clear as well as precise. Other than producing reliable findings as a result of the controlled surveys, observations and experimentations, this method helps in minimizing subjectivity. One major disadvantage of this method is the difficulty the researcher faces in trying to control the various environments at which questionnaires and surveys are filled. The findings are also limited to the ones in the initial proposal mainly in situations where the questions are close ended (Balsley, 1970).
An evaluation on purpose of the mixture of methods will be conducted through a number of evaluation designs that include triangulation to effectively test for consistency in the findings collected from various instruments, complementarity to clarify particular results obtained using one method by using another different method, development whereby the findings from a specific method further builds the research being conducted, initiation which aims at challenging the various methods or to develop new research questions and expansion which helps in analyzing each of the method used (Patton,2002). Inconsistency in results obtained in various studies, subjectivity of the researcher and the use of wrong instruments have been identified as major hindrances to the acquisition of valid and reliable results. Reliability and validity will be enhanced through out the research.
The research will be objective with measures and findings indicated just as obtained. Use of the mixed method is one effective way of preventing subjectivity thus promoting the reliability and even validity of obtained findings. Confidentiality of the respondents should be maintained to enhance good ethics. The respondents should also be made aware of the reasons for conducting the research as well as informed on every step being undertaken. They will take part out of ones free will. Other ethical responsibilities to be enhanced will include non discrimination, honesty, integrity, respect carefulness, competence among others.
The research should aim at producing valid findings that can be used to produce a workable intervention as well as one that makes contribution to research.
Balsley, H. (1970) Quantitative research methods for business and economics. New York: Random House.
Creswell, J. (2003) Research Design: Quantitative, Qualitative and Mixed Methods. California: Sage Publications.
Onwuegbuzie, A. & Leech, N. (2003) On Becoming a Pragmatic Researcher: The importance of Combining Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methodologies. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Mid-South Educational Research Association.
Patton, M. (2002): Qualitative research & evaluation methods. California: Sage Publications.