Methodological Framework - From Mixed-Methods Research to a Journal Article - Conference Proposals and Article Types

Writing for Publication: Transitions and Tools that Support Scholars’ Success - Mary Renck Jalongo, Olivia N. Saracho 2016

Methodological Framework
From Mixed-Methods Research to a Journal Article
Conference Proposals and Article Types

The use of mixed methods research is justified by explaining why the study was conducted and what gap it will fill in the literature. The most common rationale for using mixed methods research is the need to completely understand the participants’ experiences, a goal that would be unattainable with quantitative or qualitative methods alone. The rationale is explained based on the participant(s) or group(s), especially in relation to the historical, cultural, linguistic, social, and/or psychological composition of the sample members (AERA, 2006). Main rationales for mixing quantitative and qualitative methodologies consist of participant enrichment, instrument fidelity, treatment integrity, and significance enhancement (Collins, Onwuegbuzie, & Sutton, 2006). Mertens (2010) makes a case to use mixed methods research to understand communities and move toward redressing inequity in society. The rationale for a mixed method study is a reflection of its purposes, as outlined in Table 9.6.

Table 9.6

General purposes for mixed methods research


Contribution to knowledge

Personal, social, institutional, and/or organizational influence

Degree of change

Understanding of complicated events

Experimentation with contemporary ideas

Creation of contemporary ideas

Communication of information to constituencies

Exploration of an earlier period

Returning to Flecha’s (2014) study of the Roma people, here is her rationale for using mixed methods research:

A mixed methods strategy has addressed this kind of refusal by the Roma and other groups and creates venues for active participation in the entire research process … [this] makes it possible to include the voices of all social actors, especially those at the grassroots, who do not hold a university degree, and who have been traditionally excluded from the creation of scientific knowledge. (p. 246)

Activity 9.5: Why Use the Third Research Paradigm?

Using the list in Table 9.6, decide which of the purposes of mixed methods research apply to a report you are planning to write. Now draft a brief rationale for using mixed methods.

Mixed methods researchers may identify two or more goals for each methodology—quantitative and qualitative (Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2010; Newman, Ridenour, Newman, & De Marco 2003). Returning to Arnon and Reichel’s (2009) study of “the good teacher,” they identified the following four goals:





Generally, research questions indicate the problem that the researchers are studying. Explicitly, research questions are probing statements that are “an extension of the statement of the purpose of the study in that it specifies exactly the question that the researcher will attempt to answer” (Johnson & Christensen, 2004, p. 77). Research questions are developed based on theories, past research, previous experience, or practice. Questions offer a framework to guide researchers as they: conduct the study, systematize it, show its importance, and strive for continuity throughout the research process. Research questions also set the limits of the study and explain its boundaries (Onwuegbuzie & Leech, 2006).

Research questions provide critical guidelines in mixed methods research. They need to be interactive, emergent, fluid, and evolving. According to Onwuegbuzie and Leech (2006), “mixed methods research questions combine or mix both the quantitative and qualitative research questions. Moreover, a mixed methods research question necessitates that both quantitative data and qualitative data be collected and analyzed” (p. 483). A study of doctoral students’ experience with reading research articles, for example, identified research questions and categorized them according to the research paradigm:

· Quantitative research questions



· Qualitative research question


· Mixed methods research questions





Activity 9.6: Writing Research Questions

Using the examples above, try to write at least one quantitative research question, one qualitative research question, and two to three mixed methods research questions for a study that you plan to conduct.