A mixed methods research design is a procedure for collecting, analysing, and “mixing” both quantitative and qualitative research approaches in a single study to understand a research problem. With the mixed methods approach to research, researchers incorporate methods of collecting or analyzing data from the quantitative and qualitative research approaches in a single research study (Creswell, 2003; Tashakkori & Teddlie, 2003; Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004). Researchers collect or analyze not only numerical data, which is customary for quantitative research, but also narrative data, which is the norm for qualitative research in order to address the research question(s) defined for a particular research study. For instance, in order to collect a mixture of data, researchers might distribute a survey that contains closed-ended questions to collect the numerical, or quantitative data and conduct an interview using open-ended questions to collect the narrative, or qualitative data.
http://www.kenpro.org/Mixed Research Approach/The mixed methods approach to research is an extension of rather than a replacement for the quantitative and qualitative approaches to research, as the latter two research approaches will continue to be useful and important. The goal for researchers using the mixed methods approach to research is to draw from the strengths and minimize the weaknesses of the quantitative and qualitative research approaches (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004).
By having the ability to design research studies that combine data collection or data analysis methods from the quantitative and qualitative research approaches, researchers are now able to test and build theories. The mixed methods approach to research provides researchers with the ability to design a single research study that answers questions about both the complex nature of phenomenon from the participants’ point of view and the relationship between measurable variables. The quantitative and the qualitative research approaches are not only compatible but also complimentary (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004; Tashakkori & Teddlie, 2003). Thus, there is need for various study designs to be open to the application of mixed research approach.
Conclusion: Mixed Approach comes in as an answer to the dichotomy between qualitative and quantitative approaches; it serves as a ‘tier’ approach which fills and ‘ties’ the gaps of individual approaches.
Creswell, J. W. (2003). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods approaches (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
Johnson, R. B. & Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2004). Mixed methods research: A research paradigm whose time has come. Educational Researcher, 33(7), 14-26.
Tashakkori, A. & Teddlie, C. (Eds.). (2003). Handbook of mixed methods in social & behavioral research. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.