When Should mixed methods be used?

Prior to beginning work on this discussion, read Chapters 1 and 2 of the Hesse-Biber e-book, Mixed Methods Research: Merging Theory with Practice, and the two required articles for this week. Mixed methods is a current popular methodology. While this type of methodology is useful for some studies, because of its dual nature as both quantative and qualitative, it is not effective or appropriate for all research.

For this discussion, you will consider the use of mixed methods for the topic you have chosen for your Research Proposal. In your initial post, apply the scientific method to your research topic by defining your research question and determining the method(s) necessary to answer that question. Compare the characteristics and appropriate uses of the different methods and explain if your research question could best be answered through qualitative or quantitative methods, or a mix of both. Identify the dominant method (quantitative or qualitative) for your proposed study. Explain whether or not a mixed methods approach is the best way to study the topic, demonstrating that the second method is not added as an afterthought or merely to impress journal editors who favor mixed methods. If you have decided not to use mixed methods, explain why the study is best completed with either a quantitative or qualitative focus. Justify your design choice and support your position with scholarly sources. Include a discussion explaining how you would apply ethical principles to your design to address concerns which may impact your research.

Guided Response: Review several of your colleagues’ posts and respond to at least two of your peers by 11:59 p.m. on Day 7 of the week. You are encouraged to post your required replies earlier in the week to promote more meaningful interactive discourse in this discussion.

Comment on the suitability of your peer’s explanation(s) of his or her topic with regard to research design. Regardless of your peer’s choice of design, explain whether or not you believe a mixed methods design is called for to research this topic. If your peer has chosen a mixed methods design, explain whether or not you believe it is the most appropriate mixed methods design to address the research question. Identify other design option(s), besides the one you selected for your own post, you would recommend to study the proposed research question. Review the ethical issues your colleague raised in his or her post and suggest other issues which he or she should consider when conducting this research.

Continue to monitor the discussion forum until 5:00 p.m. Mountain Standard Time (MST) on Day 7 of the week and respond to anyone who replies to your initial post.

Carefully review the Discussion Forum Grading Rubric for the criteria that will be used to evaluate this Discussion Thread.

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