Mixed methods research is growing in use throughout countries and disciplines. Consequently, more people are learning methodology and providing training. Yet, only a paucity of empirical studies addresses the topic of teaching and learning mixed methods. Our current understanding of how to distinguish novices from experts at mixed methods, an important question for instructors and mentors, is anecdotal. While related literature tends to focus on teaching mixed methods research, this study took a different perspective. I used a proficiency framework to explore the skills needed to conduct mixed methods research as identified by experienced researchers, mixed methods curricula, and the mixed methods literature and to develop a typology of mixed methods proficiency. Data collection involved multiple data sources: qualitative interviews (n = 8) with individuals highly regarded for their expertise in mixed methods research and documents in the form of course syllabi, curricula materials, and workshop materials. I then conducted theme-based and type-building text analysis of the data. Four themes emerged: mixed methods skills, knowledge, researcher characteristics, and professional experiences. This article presents a typology of descriptors at three levels of mixed methods proficiency: novices, researchers, and methodologists. The proficiency typology and resultant understanding of what distinguishes mixed methods experts will be useful to learners, instructors, and mentors in developing courses, workshops, and professional development plans.
Quality & Quantity – Springer Journals
Published: Jan 20, 2016
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