Research Design & the Research Proposal
Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches
Dr. Mary Alberici
PY550
Research Methods and Statistics
The Three Types of Designs
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Three types
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Qualitative research
Quantitative research
Mixed methods research
Research design
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Plan or proposal to conduct research
Intersection of:
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Philosophical worldviews
Strategies of inquiry
Research methods
Four Worldviews for Research
Post positivism
Constructivism
Determination
Reductionism
Empirical observation and
measurement
Theory verification
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Advocacy/Participatory
Pragmatism
Political
Empowerment issue-oriented
Collaborative
Change-oriented
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Understanding
Multiple participant meanings
Social and historical construction
Theory generation
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Consequences of actions
Problem-centered
Pluralistic
Real-world practice oriented
Strategies of Inquiry
Quantitative
Experimental
designs
Nonexperimental
designs, such as
surveys

Qualitative
Narrative
research
Phenomenology
Ethnographies
Grounded
theory studies
Case study
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Mixed Methods
Sequential
Concurrent
Transformative
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Research Methods
Quantitative
Methods
Pre-determined
Instrument-based
questions
Performance, attitude,
observational, and
census data
Statistical analyses
Statistical
interpretation

Mixed
Methods
Both pre-determined
and emerging methods
Both open- and
closed-ended
questions
Multiple forms of data
drawing on all
possibilities
Statistical and text
analyses
Across databases
interpretation

Qualitative
Methods
Emerging methods
Open-ended
questions
Interview, observation,
document, and audiovisual data
Text and image
analyses
Themes, patterns
interpretation

Research Designs as Worldviews,
Strategies, and Methods
Tend to or
typically...
Qualitative
Approaches
Quantitative
Approaches
Mixed Methods
Approaches

Use these
philosophical
assumptions

Constructivist/
Advocacy/
Participatory
knowledge claims

Post-positivist
knowledge claims

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Employ these
strategies of inquiry

Phenomenology,
grounded theory,
ethnography, case
study, & narrative

Surveys &
experiments

Employ these
methods

Open-ended
questions, emerging
approaches, text or
image data

Closed-ended
questions, predetermined
approaches, numeric
data


Pragmatic
knowledge claims
Sequential,
concurrent, &
transformative
Both open- and
closed-ended
questions, both
emerging and
predetermined
approaches, & both
quantitative and
qualitative data and
analysis
Research Designs as Worldviews,
Strategies, and Methods (cont.)
Tend to or
typically...
Qualitative
Approaches
Quantitative
Approaches
Mixed Methods
Approaches
Use these
practices of
research, as the
researcher

Positions him- or herself
Collects participant
meanings
Focuses on a single
concept or phenomenon
Brings personal values
into the study
 Studies the context or
setting of participants
Validates the accuracy of
findings
Makes interpretations of
the data
Creates an agenda for
change or reform
Collaborates with the
participants

Tests of verifies theories
or explanations
Identifies variables to
study
Relates variables in
questions or hypotheses
Uses standards of
validity and reliability
Observes and measures
information numerically
Uses unbiased
approaches
Employs statistical
procedures
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Collects both
quantitative and
qualitative data
Develops a rationale for
mixing
Integrates the data at
different stages of inquiry
Presents visual pictures
of the procedures in the
study
Employs the practices of
both qualitative and
quantitative research
Criteria for Selecting a Research
Design
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The Research Problem
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An issue or concern that needs to be addressed (see Chapter 5)
If the problem calls for
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Personal Experiences
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Explanation or theory testing: Quantitative
Exploration or understanding: Qualitative
One approach alone is inadequate: Mixed methods
Training, preferences, time, resources
Audience
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Advisors, journal editors, graduate committees, etc.
The Research Proposal
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Introduces the Research Problem or Question
Reviews Existing Literature on Topic
Outlines Proposed Methodology or Procedure
Explains How the Acquired Data will be Analyzed
or Interpreted
Shows the Importance and Significance of the
Proposed Research
Addresses Anticipated Outcomes and Relevance
to the Larger Community
Appendices
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Should include Examples of Letters of Inquiry
used to Recruit Sample Population
Should include Examples of Letters of Informed
Consent for Participants
Should include Examples of Instruments or Data
Gathering Tools
Should include Examples of Any Other Materials
that will be Used to Conduct Research
May also Include Estimates for Budget, Staffing,
and Equipment Needs
Ethical Considerations
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Finally, all Internal Revue Boards (IRBs) require
that each research proposal must include
evidence of compliance with Human Subjects
Review Guidelines, in the form of a certificate of
completion from the National Institutes of
Health’s “Protecting Human Research
Participants” Online Training.
This online course is free of charge, and can be
completed by registering at the NIH website:
http://phrp.nihtraining.com/index.php