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CHAPTER

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6

COLLECTING DATA
IN MIXED METHODS
RESEARCH

R

esearchers collect data in a mixed methods study to address the research questions or hypotheses. The data collection procedure needs to fit the type of mixed methods design in the study. This requires using procedures drawn from concurrent forms of data collection, in which both the quantitative and qualitative data are collected concurrently, or from the sequential forms of data collection, in which one type of data is collected and analyzed prior to a second data collection. Issues develop during both of these approaches that the investigator must address. However, before discussing the mixed methods data collection procedures, we will begin with a review of the basic elements of both quantitative and qualitative data collection within a process approach to research.

This chapter will address
• The procedures for quantitative and qualitative data collection in a research study
• Mixed methods data collection procedures for the mixed methods designs based on concurrent and sequential forms of data collection

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Collecting Data in Mixed Methods Research– ●–111

PROCEDURES IN QUALITATIVE AND
QUANTITATIVE DATA COLLECTION
When researchers think about data collection, they often turn to the specific types of data collection and the procedures for collecting that data. We believe that there are some phases to the process of data collection that, in combination, comprise the data collection step in research. As shown in Table 6.1, these phases are the sampling procedures, permissions, types of information collected, forms for recording the data, and the activities involved in administering the data collection. Each phase will be discussed individually for both qualitative and quantitative data collection as a review prior to discussing mixed methods data collection. The review is adapted from several chapters in Creswell (2005a).

Table 6.1

Phases in the Data Collection Process for Qualitative and Quantitative Research

Qualitative Data Collection

Phases in the Process
of Research

Quantitative Data Collection

• Purposeful sampling
strategies
• Small number of participants
and sites

Sampling

• Random sampling
• Adequate size to reduce
sampling error and provide
sufficient power

• From individuals providing
access to sites
• Institutional review boards
• Individuals

Permissions

• From individuals providing
access to sites
• Institutional review boards
• Individuals






Data sources

• Instruments
• Checklists
• Public documents

• Interview protocols
• Observational protocols

Recording the data

• Instruments with scores that are
reliable and valid

• Attending to field issues
• Attending to ethical issues

Administering data
collection

• Standardization of procedures
• Attending to ethical issues

Open-ended interviews
Open-ended observations
Documents
Audiovisual materials

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112– ●–DESIGNING AND CONDUCTING MIXED METHODS RESEARCH

Sampling Procedures
To address a research question or hypothesis, the researcher decides which people and research sites can best provide information, puts a sampling procedure in place, and determines the number of individuals that will be needed to provide data.

In qualitative research, the inquirer purposefully selects individuals and sites that can provide the necessary information. Purposeful sampling means that researchers intentionally select participants who have experience with the central phenomenon or the key concept being explored. A number of purposeful sampling strategies are available, each with a different purpose. One of the more popular is maximal variation sampling, in which individuals are chosen...
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