Mixed Methods Research Designs

Week 9: Mixed Methods Research Designs

Design ideas for fuel-efficient cars

You may be familiar with the many design ideas for fuel-efficient cars and their gas-saving engines. Some designs include cars that run on alternatives to traditional gasoline, such as biofuels, hydrogen, or electrical charge. However, the design with the greatest initial success has been the hybrid engine. As you may know, these engines use some gasoline and also use batteries that gain a charge from the energy produced by the car’s brakes.

Best end result for its purpose.

Like a hybrid car, a mixed methods research design combines different means to produce the best end result for its purpose. This does not, however, mean that a mixed methods research design is always superior to a qualitative or quantitative research design alone. Rather, the best approach to study a particular topic must be considered within the context of the various research components discussed so far, such as the theoretical framework, problem, purpose, and research questions.

This week, you will examine mixed methods research, including its strengths, limitations, and utility in your discipline.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Determine use of mixed methods research
  • Explain strengths and limitations of mixed methods research
  • Justify utility of mixed methods research in discipline
  • Apply APA Style to writing

Photo Credit: [Monty Rakusen]/[Cultura]/Getty Images


Learning Resources

Note: To access this week’s required library resources, please click on the link to the Course Readings List, found in the Course Materials section of your Syllabus.

Required Readings

Johnson, R. B., &Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2004). Mixed methods research: A research paradigm whose time has come. Educational Researcher, 33(7), 14–26. doi: 10.3102/0013189X033007014

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Collins, K. M., &O’Cathain, A. (2009). Introduction: Ten points about mixed methods research to be considered by the novice researcher. International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, 3(1), 2–7.

Retrieved from the Walden Library databases.

Burkholder, G. J., Cox, K. A., & Crawford, L. M. (2016). The scholar-practitioner’s guide to research design. Baltimore, MD: Laureate Publishing.

  • Chapter 6, “Mixed Methods Designs and Approaches”

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2009b). Mixed methods: An example [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 11 minutes.

Accessible player


Discussion: Designing Mixed Methods Research

Mixed methods research designs refer to a set of designs that purposively mix or integrate both qualitative data and quantitative data. As with quantitative research and qualitative research, the choice to use mixed methods research is influenced by the researcher’s philosophical orientation.

This week’s readings provide an overview of various types of mixed methods research designs. As with previous discussions on design, the selection of the most appropriate mixed design is guided by the study’s purpose and research questions and/or hypotheses. The choice of design links the research questions and/or hypotheses to the data that will be collected achieving alignment among research components.

In this Discussion, you will explore the basics of mixed methods research designs, calling upon your growing understanding of both quantitative and qualitative research.

With these thoughts in mind:

Please provide a 1 page paper to the following questions,

  1. “To what extent is mixed methods research simply taking a quantitative design and a qualitative design and putting them together?”
  2. Next, explain the types of research questions best served by mixed methods research.
  3. Then, explain one strength and one limitation of mixed methods research. Finally, provide a rationale for or against the utility of mixed methods research in your discipline.

Be sure to support your answers with the reference to the week’s Learning Resources and other scholarly evidence in APA Style.

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