Population and Community Needs



Abstract

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            This essay presents an answer to this question: To what extent is mixed methods research simply taking half a quantitative plan and half of a qualitative plan and putting them together? Having presented the answer, the paper goes ahead to give an articulation of the challenges to using a mixed methods strategy of inquiry. The use of different methods of research, quantitative and qualitative has been analyzed and then giving an analysis of the mixed research methods.

Mixed Methods Research

Presently, scientific research has been adopting mixture of qualitative and quantitative plan for better results and analysis. This is called mixed research methods. However, this has been faced with a number of challenges to the use of the mixed methods. With a qualitative plan, we have the use of methods which do not involve any kind of statistical measurements (Sharlene, 2010). Because of the nature of this plan, there has been increase in researches which require statistical approaches, hence the need for a mixture of the two methods. This has been seen as a solution to the fact that the qualitative methods are seen lesser scientific. With the use of qualitative plan, researchers usually use varied ways of collecting data through use of theories that have been grounded, narration, and through storytelling. Interviews, observations and discussions are also important. This has then been augmented by the use of the quantitative methods.

Quantitative plan is a research technique which gathers only quantitative data such as information to do with measurable values and numbers. So as to have reliable results from the study, tables or graphs are used in presentation of the results obtained. Combination of these plans is necessary depending on the kind of study (Teddlie & Tashakkori, 2003). Basically, it is required that the kind of study should be in line with the nature of study for better results. Qualitative methods tend to be incorporated to the quantitative plan to produce knowledge and information on the given case being studied to come up with hypothetical conclusions. The quantitative methods will be adopted in verification of the truth with such hypotheses.

            The use of mixed methods has been faced with a number of challenges. When these plans have been combined, experts have argued that the studies will be less scientific since they require the use of purely quantitative methods. Also, it is believed that the combination of quantitative methods to the qualitative will underestimate majority of the factors that cannot be measured while giving a blurred idea behind any social phenomena being studied. The use of mixed method requires experts from both plans and also integrating various study methods which might be costly (Creswell & Clark, 2010). This method might also take a longer time period to arrive at reliable results. Therefore, the use of the mixed methods has been encouraged depending on the nature of the study and the anticipated results by eliminating most of the possible challenges.

References

Creswell, J. & Clark, P. (2010). Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Sharlene, N. (2010). Mixed Methods Research: Merging Theory with Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Teddlie, C. & Tashakkori, A. (2003). Handbook of mixed methods in social and behavioral research. New York: John Wiley and Sons.


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