The University of Southampton
Courses

EDUC6459 Applied Mixed Methods in Education Research

Module Overview

This module provides a flexible, workshop-based approach to developing students’ awareness of a range of research methods appropriate for students conducting research projects at postgraduate level in Educational settings.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aim of the module is to provide opportunities to develop students’ understanding of a range of different methods associated with the collection and analysis of data that can be used in mixed methods research designs. These methods will reflect those appropriate for applied research in the context of Education. Through engagement with the module students will have opportunities to develop intermediate and advanced research skills which can be applied to their critical use of research evidence drawn from the existing knowledge base, as well as to inform both the design and implementation of research projects that the students themselves plan to undertake.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate critical awareness of a wide range of methods for the collection and analysis of data that can be used in mixed methods research designs;
  • Understand the principles of sound research design which enable robust collection of data associated with the range of mixed methods studied;
  • Employ appropriate techniques for the systematic analysis and interpretation of a range of sources of associated with a mixed methods research design;
  • Recognise the means by which theory may be developed and linked to the range of techniques used for interpreting and writing about the findings derived from mixed-methods research designs;
  • Critically consider the challenges and affordances offered by combining multiple research approaches in mixed methods research designs.

Syllabus

The module will focus on at least three different approaches to the collection and analysis of data that can be used in mixed methods research designs via methodologies commonly used in research applied to education contexts. Students will attend workshops on each approach and will be encouraged to compare and contrast their underpinning philosophical positions and associated theoretical perspectives, as well as practical details related to aspects of the relevant research designs such as appropriate sampling strategies, choice of data collection methods, and issues related to the collection and analysis of data. A key focus for the applied mixed methods module is a requirement to critically consider the challenges and affordances offered by combining multiple research approaches to answer particular kinds of research questions. A list of exemplar approaches to research which may be studied are as follows: • autobiographical research methods; • phenomenological research methods; • ethnographic research methods; • grounded approaches; • analysis of large scale quantitative secondary datasets; • quantitative measures of classroom and institutional practice; • experimental research; • psychometric measurement and scale development; • social network analysis; • case study; • participatory research; • practitioner and action research. Common themes covered during each workshop are likely to include the associated: • nature of the underpinning philosophical and theoretical perspectives; • approaches for selecting and engaging participants (or their data) in the research; • specific ethical considerations; • means of ensuring quality in research e.g. robust design principles, transparent processes; • methods for the collection of primary data and/or accessing sources of secondary data; • systematic analysis of data derived from the methods being studied; • issues related to the interpretation of findings derived from the data analysis; • further reading related to the methods and approaches covered.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module provides a flexible approach to developing a bespoke research methods toolkit for Education research students, which should enable students to engage in the design and implementation of their own research projects in a more critical and informed way. At the same time, it also provides an opportunity to broaden the range of methods with which the student is familiar in order to make better critical use of pre-existing research evidence. To facilitate the flexible approach students will be required to register for and attend the relevant research skills development workshops (usually scheduled for a 4 hour half-day session) in at least three different approaches to research associated with the collection and analysis of data within mixed methods research designs. The workshops will employ a range of teaching and learning methods. Group sizes are likely to be modest (no more that 25-30 students) and provide a mix of • whole-class lecture and discussion; • small group interactive discussion and activities; • hands-on practical tasks related to data collection and analysis. Where appropriate sessions will be supported by the use of appropriate assistive technologies and software tools for the purpose of data collection and/or analysis. Members of the student’s supervisory and/or programme team will provide additional tutorial support during the module, which will include discussing the focus for the module assignment and how it relates to the students’ individual research training needs and proposed research project.

TypeHours
Independent Study85
Teaching15
Total study time100

Resources & Reading list

Creswell, J.W. and Clark, V.L.P. (2007). Designing and conducting mixed methods research. 

SPSS quantitative data analysis software. SPSS quantitative data analysis software and Amos (for factor/path analysis and Structural Equation Modelling) is available for download via the iSolutions Software download pages. Other similar software tools to support the analysis of quantitative data are available (such as STATA, MLwiN, MPlus, RStudio and associated plugins etc) but may require the purchase of a license in order for full functionality to be utilised

Punch, K. & Oancea, A. (2014). Introduction to research methods in education. 

Cohen, L., Manion, L. & Morrison, K. (2011). Research methods in education. 

Teddlie, C., & Tashakkori, A (2009). Foundations of mixed methods research: Integrating quantitative and qualitative approaches in the social and behavioral sciences. 

Robson, C (2002). Real World Research. 

Journal of Mixed Methods Research,. Journal of Mixed Methods Research,. ,0 , pp. 0.

NVivo qualitative data analysis software. NVivo qualitative data analysis software available for download via the iSolutions Software download pages. Other similar software tools to support the analysis of qualitative data are available (such as ATLAS.ti, MAXQDA, QDA Miner etc) but may require the purchase of a license in order for full functionality to be utilised.

Tashakkori, A., & Teddlie, C. (2010). Sage handbook of mixed methods in social & behavioral research.. 

Creswell, J. W. (2013). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches.. 

Assessment

Summative

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Referral

MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Costs

Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Software Licenses

Purchase of specific software tools and/or assistive technologies for the collection of data may greatly enhance the capacity for a student to utilise one or more of the methods studied in their primary research.

Textbooks

Due to its flexible nature, there are no set texts for the module, but students are encouraged to consider purchasing texts related to research methods, especially where these reflect the methods proposed in the research designs for their own research project, and for those research methods which are particularly prevalent in core source literature from the pre-existing research evidence base.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at www.calendar.soton.ac.uk.

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