ERG SES G 02, ICT and Education
The overall purpose of this paper is to present and discuss a mixed methods design fit to address the challenges of embracing a variety of individual and quite diverse development projects within a single research methods design, given that this methods design must be adequate for both extracting generalizable findings as well as identifying the relevant individual characteristics of the development projects. The empirical basis is 65 very different, individual development projects, each in their own way experimenting with different ways to implement ICT in high school teaching and learning activities. Each development project was scheduled for one year, and the overall research study covered four periods of different projects.
The proportions and organization of the projects were very diverse, ranging from single class projects, through groups of classes or complete schools, to network projects among groups of schools. In total, about 5,400 students and 550 teachers were involved. The content of the individual development projects were at least as diverse as their proportions and organization; focusing on different pedagogical elements, using a variety of ICT tools and in different ways, contexts and with different purposes.
A quantitative approach was needed to be able to extract generalizable findings from across the many – very diverse – development projects. Without this approach, the overall research study might be unable depict general tendencies and draw the necessary overall conclusions across the variety of development projects. However, given the diverse individual characteristics of the development projects, a quantitative approach can only “scratch the surface” and shed light on a limited number of aspects: the most common characteristics that all the development projects can reasonably be examined for. Therefore, concurrently a more flexible, qualitative approach was needed as well to address and scrutinize the individual characteristics of the projects. In the actual case, this called for observations of learning environments and semi-structured interviews with teachers and students involved in the projects.
However, this combination of approaches not only allows us to benefit from both generalizable quantitative and flexible qualitative data gathering. Inherent are also questions such as how to combine these approaches? How to balance the design between exploration and confirmation? Will the research study be best off by combining the approaches simultaneously or sequentially one after the other? Furthermore, how should the research methods design take into consideration the possibilities for ongoing refinement given by the fact that the research study consists of successive periods?
Furthermore, by illustrating and discussing potential benefits from different mixed methods prototypical approaches, we will discuss the implications of implementing the methodical ingredients simultaneously vs. sequentially and also the benefits of iterative/multiphase revisions.
Our mixed methods research design draws on a theoretical framework combining quantitative methodology (e.g. Groves 2009, Vaus 2005) and qualitative ditto (e.g. Beatty 2007, Kvale 1999). Quantitatively, the focus is on questionnaires, whereas the qualitative focus is on observations and semi-structured interviews.
These methodological frameworks are combined with inspiration from, among others, Creswell & Clark (2011). Cresswell & Clark present six prototypical versions of mixed methods design (Creswell 2011: 68-72). According to these prototypes, the design of our study relates to both the convergent parallel design and the exploratory sequential design. Given the fact that the national study was conducted over four consecutive periods, a third prototype is also at stake; the multiphase design.
Beatty, P. C. & G. B. Willis (2007). Research Synthesis: The Practice of Cognitive Interviewing in Public Opinion Quarterly, vol. 71, issue 2, pp. 287-311. Bryman, A. (2008). Social Research Methods, 3rd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Creswell, J. W. & V. L. P. Clark (2011). Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research, 2nd edition. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE. Teddlie, C. & A. Tashakkori (2009). Foundations of Mixed Methods Research. Integrating Quantitative and Qualitative Approacheds in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE. Groves, R. M. et al. (2009). Survey Methodology, 2nd edition. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Kvale, S. (1999). InterView. Copenhagen: Hans Reitzels Forlag. Vaus, D. de (2005). Surveys in Social Research, 5th edition. Oxon: Routledge.
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.