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Mixed Methods Designs

Bojana Lobe

University of Ljubljana

Bojana Lobe is an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Ljubljana, where she teaches various methods courses, including Social Science Data Collection and Digital Technologies.

Her research interests include online qualitative research methods, integration of qualitative and quantitative methods online, qualitative comparative analysis, and researching children’s experiences online with mixed methods.

She is the author of the book Integration of Online Research Methods and of several chapters and articles on conducting online focus groups and interviews. She is a member of the research programme Social Science Methodology, Statistics and Informatics at the University of Ljubljana.

Since 2006, Bojana has been actively involved in researching the experiences of children and young people with internet and digital technologies through various projects:

Course Dates and Times

Monday 8 to Friday 12 August 2016
Generally classes are either 09:00-12:30 or 14:00-17:30
15 hours over 5 days

Prerequisite Knowledge

Participants enrolling in this course should have a basic knowledge in qualitative and quantitative methods – understands the basic ontological, epistemological and methodological difference between qualitative and quantitative data collection methods. No prior knowledge of Mixed Methods Designs, specifically, is required.

Short Outline

In the first part of the course we will give a short overview about current discussions in the field (esp. addressing questions of the compatibility of different „paradigms“). Thereafter we will focus on the specific strengths and weaknesses of qualitative and quantitative research. By drawing on examples from Mixed Methods Research projects in different fields, we will show how typical methodological problems of qualitative or quantitative research can be treated and solved by using methods from the other tradition. In the second part of the course, various mixed methods designs will be introduced and issues of sampling, data validity, data analysis and reporting in Mixed Methods Research will be examined. Functions of different kinds of Mixed Methods Designs will be addressed and the relation between research questions and qualitative and quantitative parts of a Mixed Method Design will be discussed.

Long Course Outline

The purpose of this course is to introduce basic methodological and epistemological principles to effectively integrate quantitative and qualitative research methods in a research project.


The objective is to examine the main reasons, principles and practical ways to integrate various qualitative and quantitative research methods in a single study. Participants will learn methods and techniques to effectively use various types of mixed methods designs and apply these to real-world research problems.


To start with, we will briefly examine the basic characteristics of each, qualitative and quantitative research traditions, particularly focusing on their complementary assets. Further, we will study the paradigmatic issues around mixed methods research (i.e. paradigmatic war, incompatibility thesis and how to overcome this problem). Next, we will examine the basic and advanced mixed method designs, introduced to the field by various researchers (e.g. Creswell, Tashakkori and Teddlie, Brannen, Bryman, Morgan, Greene etc.). A special attention is given to discuss and distinguish between triangulation and complementary use when integrating various methods.


The course includes a detailed discussion, along with illustrations, on:

•       various basic and advanced (only briefly) mixed method designs and when to use which;

•       the principles of basic integration;

•       sampling strategies in mixed methods studies;

•       specific principles of data collection in mixed methods studies;

•       strategies for data analysis in mixed methods studies;

•       report writing and interpretation in mixed methods studies;

•       the discussion on data quality standards and how integration influences the quality of results in mixed methods studies.


The usage of integration will be demonstrated on all level of a research process: formulation of research problem/question, data collection, data analysis, interpretation. We also look into disadvantages or limitations of mixed methods and when best not to use such an approach.


Alongside offline research, we will also study an online mixed methods approach, which offers a new opportunity to increase the flexibility of the research design. The course will also be practice- oriented, as participants will conduct a hands-on small-scale research study.


After having completed the course, participants will be able to:

1.) Understand the principles of integrating qualitative and quantitative methods offline and online; understand the underlying purposes of integrations: triangulation, complementary use. 

2.) Engage into practical usage of basic and advanced mixed method designs and apply these designs to real world problems in their research field.

3.) Understand mutual and complementary assets of qualitative and quantitative research methods.


The more advanced issues will only be mentioned but not explained into details as there is a more advanced Multi-method course in ECPR Winter School. Also, we will not cover in detail any software for data analysis techniques as we will focus more on data collection and research design in general in Mixed Methods Research.


The course will consist of lectures and home assignments. For facilitating discussions in the lectures, participants will be expected to read, on a daily basis, selected texts about methodological issues, to critically analyse mixed methods studies focussing on the use of research methods, and to conduct some practical exercises related to the preparation of some research instrument or technique. As a home assignment, participants will be expected to compose and submit a methodological plan for a mixed methods study, which may be (ideally) their own research project or an imaginary project envisioned only for training purposes.  

Software Requirements


Hardware Requirements



Bergman, M. M. (Ed.) (2008). Advances in mixed methods research: Theories and applications. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Creswell, John W. ; Plano Clark, Vicki L. (2009). Designing and conducting mixed methods research. Thousand Oaks ; London ; New Delhi : Sage

Guba, E. G., & Lincoln, Y. S. (2005). Paradigmatic controversies, contradictions, and emerging confluences. In N. K. Denzin, Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The SAGE handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed., pp. 191–216). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

House, E. R. (1994). Inegrating the quantitative and qualitative. In C. S. Reichardt, S. F. Rallis (Eds.), The qualitative-quantitative debate: New perspectives. (New Directions for Evaluation, No. 61). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Johnson, R. B., & Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2004). Mixed methods research: A research paradigm whose time has come. Educational Researcher, 33 (7), 14–26.

Mertens, D. M. (2003). Mixed methods and the politics of human research: The transformative-emancipatory perspective. In A. Tashakkori, C. Teddlie (Eds.), Handbook of mixed methods in social and behavioral research (pp.135–164). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Miller, S. (2003). Impact of mixed methods and design on inference quality. In A. Tashakkori, C. Teddlie (Eds.), Handbook of mixed methods in social and behavioral research (pp. 423–456). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

J. C. Greene, V. J. Caracelli (Eds.) (1997). Advances in mixed-method evaluation: The challenges and benefits of integrating diverse paradigms.(New Directions for Evaluation, No. 74, pp. 73-85) San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Tashakkori, A., & Teddlie, C. (Eds.) (2003). Handbook of mixed methods in social and behavioral research. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Recommended Courses to Cover Before this One

<p>Research Designs</p>

Recommended Courses to Cover After this One

<p>Advanced Multi-Method Research</p>

Additional Information


This course description may be subject to subsequent adaptations (e.g. taking into account new developments in the field, participant demands, group size, etc). Registered participants will be informed at the time of change.

By registering for this course, you confirm that you possess the knowledge required to follow it. The instructor will not teach these prerequisite items. If in doubt, please contact us before registering.