Create a summary of your proposed research problem and your chosen research approach. “Which is the Implementation of EHR”. The body of the document will include preliminary choices about the type of research approach (qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods) you have chosen, potential research instruments/techniques and a justification for your decisions. This should be no more than two pages, double-spaced. Here are some notes from the professor Content Value of Mixed Methods Research Mixed methods research allows for the use of both quantitative and qualitative skill sets to address a specific problem. Typically used in discrete phases the two techniques can sometimes be used in a single study to give a richer picture of the problem or hypothesis With the value of qualitative, as well as quantitative research, growing in the minds of the consumers of social science there is increased value in the use of mixed methods research. Particularly for research, which is conducted in teams, across disciplinary lines, mixed methods research makes serious sense. In the area of public policy where researchers are challenged to both explore and explain programs and problems mixed methods research offers a broader set of appropriate tools. As a result many academic journals encourage and even some specialize in the publication of mixed methods research. Considerations in Mixed Methods Research There are several concerns, which the researcher needs to discuss in their proposal regarding the use of mixed methods. 1.Timing involves the phasing of the quantitative and qualitative portion of research. Are the two phases done sequentially or concurrently? There may be timing issues with respect to the population studied that dictate which course to take. 2.Weighting is the factor that determines whether the two methods contribute equally to the study or is one considered more heavily than the other. 3.Mixing involves the consideration as to whether data and analysis can be combined around the two methods. We would discourage the use of mixing for the type of project undertaken in the capstone. There are difficult methodological questions that need to be answered if the researcher pursues this course. 4.Theorizing involves the question as to whether there is a larger theoretical perspective that guides the research. This perspective may come from the social sciences or may be a particular lens for analysis. Theory can be used to help guide the questions asked in research. There is material in the text in the first chapter and the entire third chapter dedicated to this issue. Explanatory Design The most popular form of mixed methods research is the “sequential explanatory strategy.” As described in Creswell, this practice is characterized by the collection and analysis of quantitative data in a first phase followed by collection and analysis of qualitative data in a second phase. The phases build on one another such that the quantitative data can be used to prove or disprove a hypothesis followed by qualitative analysis that is used to provide further explanation of the results. The drawback to this method is the length of time involved in completing two very important phases of research. A good example of when this particular type of design can be used is to explore and analysis of the public program. The quantitative phase examines analytical results with the qualitative phase elucidating the findings. Exploratory Design An alternative form is the exploratory design, which can also be done, in a sequential fashion. Typically it is conducted with the qualitative phase first and the quantitative phase following as the second. The researcher uses the qualitative phase to explore a particular phenomenon and based on analysis then develops a research instrument, which is at the center of the quantitative phase. For example, a researcher observing the implementation of the new learning program at a school could use exploratory design. The first phase is to observe the actual implementation, which results in stronger understanding of the objectives, which are then translated into a proper measurement or survey instrument. Critical to success of exploratory studies is the proper handling of the qualitative portion of the research. Theory The use of theory can be an important aid to the social science researcher. By using theory such as feminism, critical race theory or constructivism (there are many others) it guides the choices the researcher makes for their approach to both quantitative and qualitative research. Theory often flows from the literature review on the topic. Conclusion Mixed methods research offers a strong set of tools for the student building a research proposal. It allows the researcher to combine the two main techniques in a strong fashion that allows for stronger hypothesis development and testing. As with any choice of methodology, there are trade-offs. Qualitative Methods Qualitative research involves multiple and related steps. Data is collected in a natural setting. This means that qualitative data is collected in the field. Qualitative researchers also collect data through examining documents observing behavior or interviewing participants. It means the researcher is the critical component or instrument of research. In qualitative research, there are multiple sources of data such as interviews and official documents. The researcher is challenge to understand participants meaning in the in the data. This is supposed to the meaning the researcher applies to the data, which is typical in quantitative research. Qualitative research is subject to the notion of emergent design. As data is collected, interviews conducted, documents examined, etc., the researcher may find the need to change or alter the process even after data collection has begun. From Creswell we learn that qualitative research is a form of interpretive inquiry where researchers make a determination of the meaning of what they see, hear, and understand. A challenge in qualitative research is separating out the inherent biases of the researcher from the meaning of the data they gather. Creswell advises that the researcher consider the following steps in preparing a qualitative proposal: 1.Identify the specific approach to inquiry. 2.Provide some background information about the strategy or discipline at a brief definition. 3.Discuss why this is an appropriate strategy for the proposed study. 4.Identify how the use of the strategy will shape the types of questions asked or the form of data collection. Data Collection Techniques Before data can be collected using qualitative techniques the researcher must consider issues related to ethics and human experimental standards. Each research institution will have its own specific standards and approval process. These ethical concerns are an outgrowth of experiences in past decades where researchers showed a lack of concern with the impact of their techniques on human subjects. Most discussed example of this came from the work of Stanley Milgram. The researcher must select participants or sites for data collection. Unlike in quantitative research, the researcher has no advantage in random selection but rather purposefully selects the research sites. The proposal should account for setting, actors, events, and the process undertaken by the actors at the site. The research proposal should indicate the type or types of data to be collected during the process. In Table 9.2 in the Creswell text, there is a strong paradigm indicating the choices for qualitative researchers among observations, interviews, documents, and audiovisual materials. There are typical data collection approaches, which correspond to specific data collection types. All include some form of note taking which will help provide documentation indicating that the researcher followed the proposed observational protocol. Even if the researcher changes aspects of the protocol once research begins, documentation of the process can help with the subsequent justification for changes to the proposal. This form of documentation is critically important particularly for interviews and observations of live subject behavior. Data Analysis Once data has been collected, the researcher will be challenged to do a thorough analysis. Data must be organized and prepared for analysis. Data must be reviewed to see if there are central themes as well as for overall depth credibility and usability of information. A critical step is coding of data. This involves organizing material segments of material, which brings meaning to the information. The Creswell text describes in detail how a researcher may develop a qualitative codebook. Maintaining the credibility of data is an important step, as it allows for the researcher to more easily return to data as the process of writing (and developing findings) begins. Validity The issues of validity are less severe for qualitative work as opposed to discussion of internal and external validity for quantitative research, which we reviewed above in Week Four. By maintaining good documentation of procedures and results, the qualitative researcher has the means to check for accuracy of findings and integrity of procedures. Concerns include contemporaneous errors in transcription, inconsistency of coding of findings, and subject turnover infield research. Writing up Qualitative Research Qualitative research benefits from richly detailed description. The write-up of interviews should include quotations from subjects. Text information should be presented in tabular form. The researcher can include his or her own interpretations of the material, but it should be clear one is from the subject and one is from the researcher. The narrative approach is a significant addition the case studies which involve observational data. Example 9.1 from the text offers a substantial example of a qualitative procedure and should be carefully reviewed by students. Conclusion Qualitative research is significantly different than the quantitative variety. The techniques for research, collection of data, and analysis of data all have particular protocols for this approach. Success comes from careful presentation of the research approach and good documentation during the fieldwork to support data integrity. It is supported by strong narration by the researcher that relays findings.