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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2020 - 2021

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module focuses on the rationale for, and application of, mixed methods to research problems in education. It challenges students to interrogate the epistemological and ontological principles underpinning quantitative and qualitative research and the implications of adopting a pragmatic approach to one's research. Using taxonomies of mixed methods research designs, students are supported to articulate and defend the nature, extent, timing, and weighting of 'mixing' within their Ph.D. or Masters by Research study. By exploring a range of quantitative (quasi-experimental, single case, repeated measures...) and qualitative (case studies, ethnography, grounded theory...) designs, their associated uses and limitations, students are supported to rationalize their research designs to ensure feasibility and 'best-fit' with their research topic, problem and question(s). Particular attention is paid to the practicalities of using a range of methods and tools in one study and the implications for data collection, analysis, triangulation, interpretation, validity/reliability/trustworthiness and generalisability.

Learning Outcomes

1. Classify research designs, methodologies and strategies in accordance with underpinning philosophies and worldviews.
2. LO2 Critically appraise the opportunities and challenges that present for the researcher who decides to mix quantitative and qualitative methodologies in educational research.
3. LO3 Adopt and articulate an informed justification for the use of mixed methods in his/her research project.
4. Craft a workable project plan for his/her research that maps the anticipated actions and decisions to be made at critical junctures of a potential Mixed Methods research project (regarding, for example, sampling, instrumentation - choice/design/adaptation, piloting, data collection, recording, review, mixing, analysis, etc.).
5. Consider ethical issues that can occur when using mixed methods research designs such as convergent, explanatory, experimental, social justice and multi-stage designs.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture20Lectures Active engagement in class and group-based discussion and critique of course content. 20
Online activity25Participation in Synchronous and/or asynchronous classes. Discussion and/or critical review of relevant research recommended by the tutor(s)
Independent Study30Reading and critical review of literature relevant to the module
Assessment Feedback50Mixed Methods Research Plan, Oral presentation and defence of research plan
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Philosophical stances/worldviews and the extent to which they fit with mixed methods research

Taxonomies of mixed methods research

Qualitative and quantitative weighting, sequencing and mixing within mixed methods designs

Data collection: concurrent, sequential, nested…

Data analysis: 'Quantitization' of qualitative data; distinct and/or mixed reporting; triangulation

Validity, reliability, trustworthiness, generalisability, saturation


Ethical issues in Mixed Methods Research

Development of systematic Mixed Research Plan

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • Creswell, J. and Plano Clark, V: 2017, Designing and conducting mixed methods research, 3rd, Sage, Thousand Oaks, CA,
  • Creswell, J. W.: 2014, A Concise Introduction to Mixed Methods Research, Sage, Thousand Oakes,
  • Brown, M., McNamara,G., O'Hara, J., O'Brien, S., Poole, P,, and Burns, D.: 2017, A mixed metthods Evaluation of the PDST ePortfolio initiative: Integrating ePortfolios in Education., EQI, Dublin,
  • Creswell, J. W.: 2008, Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches, 3rd ed., Sage, Thousand Oakes, CA,
  • Greene, J.: 2007, Mixed methods in social inquiry, San Francisco, Jossey Bass,
Other Resources

0, Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 0, Journal, http://journals.sagepub.com/home/mmr,
Programme or List of Programmes