WHAT ARE KEY MIXED METHODS DESIGNS?
There are many possible typologies for constructing a mixed methods design (Nastasi, Hitchcock, & Brown, 2010). We use the terminology of Creswell and Plano Clark because of its simplicity to delineate mixed methods study types (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2011). In this chapter, we only scratch the surface.
The diagrams in Figure 11.1 are a simplification of countless possibilities in which quantitative and qualitative approaches (often called “strands” in a research design) are mixed, at the data collection step, in data analysis, in data interpretation, or at multiple levels of the study design. What we discuss in this section are the basic structures of mixed methods study designs. How the “mix” of quantitative and qualitative “strands” is configured in a particular study must be justified by the goals of the study and the questions to be answered by the research as well as the stage of pipeline in intervention development. Sequential designs (exploratory and explanatory sequential designs) have data collection performed in sequence so that the results of one strand influence the data collection for the next strand. In concurrent designs, the data collection for the strands is embedded in one another, often with one method being primary. In this section, we outline key mixed methods designs and end with a note on sampling for mixed methods designs.
Figure 11.1 Basic mixed methods designs that deploy qualitative and quantitative methods sequentially or concurrently.
Source: Adapted from Creswell and Plano Clark (2011).