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Mixed Design Research - Assignment Example

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Mixed Design Research on the of Education Sagarika Chakraborty s Not applicable s Author Note
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Mixed Design Research
on the subject of Education
Research can be both quantitative; “systematic empirical investigation of quantitative properties and phenomena and their relationships” as well as qualitative; “understanding of human behaviour and the reasons that govern such behaviour” (Wikipedia, 2011). To combat the limitations of both or either, we have what is now called the mixed design research methodology propounded by John W. Creswell in his bestselling text Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed method Approaches (Third Edition, 2009). This book talks about the qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methodologies depending on each form of inquiry: it deals right from the initial stage of philosophical assumptions to the writing and presentation of the research paper. In keeping with the mixed method approach on the subject of educational research, which is what this paper examines; the greatest challenge higher education faces in the future are issues of funding and searching for authentic funding agencies; availability of relevant materials in one’s hometown (Metros and big cities have an advantage over people from smaller towns and villages who need to relocate sometimes); availability of research guides; issue of limited seats in common entrance exams for Fellowship purpose; accessibility of research materials, especially journals, often leading to time-consuming processing of limited sponsorships to visit those places to get the relevant journals; issue with library access to rare books and consequent time wastage while waiting for library loans to be processed; availability and access to labs with state-of-the-art infrastructure and technology, and issues with unaided research especially for science students where they would need to visit labs every day and cannot devote time to anything else.
The issues stated above are real-time challenges experienced and observed by an eminent college professor; who has been teaching English to university students for the last 5 years (Anonymous, 2011). In fact, due to issues with lengthy processing of library loans and lack of proper access to journals and other relevant research materials, she had to visit London on applied sponsorship for about two months to get access to those rare journals and books in order to complete her thesis paper on time. The professor mentioned belongs to a Metro City yet had to overcome all these hurdles while continuing with her unfailing commitment to higher education in the field of educational research.
Purpose Statement
The purpose of this study was to highlight the multidimensional approach undertaken by the researcher (professor) so that she could do justice to her area of research; something similar to what Croswell discusses in his book. Croswell shows how to write an effective Purpose statement; which is the crux of any successful research, based on “quantitative, qualitative and mixed method studies” (Creswell, 2009, Chapter 6).
Mixed Design
Of the six mixed method procedures discussed by Croswell, the sequential exploratory strategy is the one that deals with collecting and analysing quantitative data to help in study of qualitative theorems; wherein the findings of these two types are integrated in the interpretations stage to explore a given phenomenon in a new light (Creswell, 2009, p.211-216). This strategy works best to research the effects of a given theory in quantitative findings; and this model finds a lot of importance in the field of educational research. This strategy could possibly be the best response to the issue raised by our professor friend regarding the challenges faced by her in her pursuit of higher education. She could have started by focussing on a qualitative model of research, and accordingly channelled her energies in that direction without going in an inverse direction by travelling from one country to another to collect quantitative data (through field study and library information; including applied sponsorships for library loans and foreign country visits) to support her research theorems and spending considerable time and energy on analysis of the same.

In concurrence to the issues raised by the professor in regard to the scope and challenges of educational research, the first thing I recommend is to increase awareness amongst the general public about the research and development segment and in turn pressurize the government to channelize more funds for that sector. The R&D forms the backbone of development of any country, so this initiative is something which needs to implemented especially in developing countries like India so that money can be utilised to set up more labs with state-of-the-art infrastructure and the latest technology to facilitate effective research without the need to relocate. Also, such awareness campaigns need to focus on hassle-free processing of applied scholarship fees so that researchers can single-mindedly focus on their subject of research without running around from pillar to post to complete the additional formalities.
Secondly, coming to the issue of limited fellowship seats in common entrance exams, my recommendation would be to increase the number of seats but focus on eligibility purely on the basis of merit and do away with reservations. This would allow only the very best of serious educationists access the research and development sector, who in turn would help in making more qualitative, fruitful contributions to the R&D sector.
Now, the scientific methodologies used in quantitative research are subject to changes due to technological advancements over the years, and the fact that “A useful hypothesis allows prediction and within the accuracy of observation of the time, the prediction will be verified” (Wikipedia, 2011). Hence “as the accuracy of observation improves with time, the hypothesis may no longer provide an accurate prediction” (Wikipedia, 2011) - thus leading to revising of hypothesis used in scientific research and replacing the old theories with the new ones that formulate more precise predictions. On the other hand, human behaviour as mentioned in quantitative research above is extremely subjective. Thus no two researchers think alike and human inferences can change due to change in behavioural patterns over the years, depending on the availability of increasing resources with time as well as the socio-economic-political factors of the age in which the researcher is based. The key purpose of this paper was not to highlight the differences between the two methodologies but to bring about an amalgamation through the mixed design research (sequential exploratory strategy); validated through the example of how to overcome challenges in the field of educational research.
Creswell, W. John (2009). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches (3rd ed.) (pp.211-216). California: Sage Publications, Inc.
Research. (n.d.). Retrieved 26 September 2011 from the Research
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