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Closing Commentary: The Contributions of Innovations in Integration in Complex Mixed Methods Evaluation Designs in This Issue and Beyond
Michael D. Fetters. (2020). The Mixed Methods Research Workbook: Activities for Designing Implementing, and Publishing Projects. Sage. Paperback, 293 pages.
In The Mixed Methods Research Workbook, Michael D. Fetters has developed a practical resource for scholars, graduate students, and individuals with an interest in mixed methods research (MMR). Since many of the concepts presented are essential to all types of human research, the workbook would make an excellent required reading for an introductory graduate-level MMR course. The workbook is intricately scaffolded, with engaging lessons covering vital areas of MMR training—literature review, ethics, publishing, validity, grant applications, and philosophy worldviews.
“Effective integration doesn’t suddenly happen at the end of the project; it derives from a conversation that began as initial purposes and designs were being formulated, that then continued throughout the project” (p. 278). This quote illustrates the essential role of integration in mixed methods research and orients the reader to the practical approach advanced in the book for understanding the complex world from multiple viewpoints.
Mixed Methods Design in Evaluation by Donna Mertens is a useful, well-organized book that explores the numerous applications and benefits of mixed methods approaches. In the words of the volume editors, after examining published evaluation examples, Mertens “concludes with prompts that engage the reader in thinking about how mixed methods can improve social inquiry” (p. xiv). Mertens advocates that mixed methods in evaluation “strengthen the credibility of evaluation findings” (p.
Why a Focus on Integration and Complex Mixed Methods Evaluation Designs?: Introducing this Special Issue of the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation
A Framework to Combine Mixed Methods Integration and Developmental Evaluation to Study Complex Systems
This article considers the opportunities and challenges of mixed methods integration within the context of conducting developmental evaluations with diverse stakeholders. The article proposes a four-part planning framework that explicitly maps the eight principles of developmental evaluation to key questions about integration: Why integrate? What will be integrated? When and how will integration occur? The framework is used to explore and compare two large-scale evaluations that employed mixed methods integration.
Learning and Leading: Integrating Mixed Methods in a Collaborative Approach to Educational Evaluation
This practice note describes the benefits of integrating mixed methods in a collaborative approach to evaluation with school districts and community partners in southwestern Ontario. We discuss the ways in which the integration of qualitative and quantitative data generated a multi-faceted perspective about a new mental health professional role as a complex educational phenomenon.
Limited evaluation capacity, power dynamics, and resource constraints act as organizational barriers that inhibit evaluations in higher education contexts. Evaluation capacity promotes evaluation and minimizes the impact of these barriers. Embedding a synergistic combination of qualitative and quantitative methods within an evaluation and evaluation capacity building (ECB) initiative was our attempt to address these organizational barriers. In this practice note, we illustrate how MM designs catalyze evaluative thinking that promotes evaluation and supports ECB efforts.
This article describes the integrated, mixed methods (MM) design used to evaluate the Saving Lives at Birth ([email protected]) program. [email protected] is a multi-stakeholder, donor-supported global health initiative to tackle maternal and neonatal mortality via innovation. Since [email protected]’s launch in 2011, the program has supported 116 innovations through 147 awards around the globe. The evaluation for this large and complex program included a largely retrospective MM design aligned with principles of evaluating complexity.
A Multi-Stage Approach to Qualitative Sampling within a Mixed Methods Evaluation: Some Reflections on Purpose and Process
We share experiences from a mixed methods evaluation in rural India that combines a randomized controlled trial (RCT) of 400 villages with embedded case studies in four villages. Specifically, we present two lessons from the multi-stage sampling approach adopted to select the four case-study villages, which first prioritized key-informant observations regarding intervention status in order to shortlist locations and subsequently used data from the RCT’s baseline survey to select the final sample.