Mix Methods & the Homestretch

To wrap up our presentation series, we concluded our discussion of qualitative methods with a consideration of the “mix methods” approach. Mixed-methods researchers combine paradigms by applying both quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis in one study. The mixed methods “advantage” might include a more robust description and interpretation of the data in order to make quantitative results more understandable, or it may make the broader applicability of small-sample qualitative findings more understandable with additional numerical findings. In other words, a set of data based in numerical findings enhances the depth of overall findings when paired with a narrative-based set of data. Thanks to Max for the overview of how this pairing of methodologies might work by presenting the findings in Yu et al’s article entitled When students want to stand out: Discourse moves in online classroom discussion that reflect students’ needs for distinctiveness. As we discussed, the challenge might lie in the thoughtful integration of the specific methods and instruments chosen, and understanding exactly how one set of data can “set off” the other in revealing ways.

Our class slides

I am glad we revisited the earlier CARS (Creating a Research Space) model in class. This model was referred to early-on in our ENG 5002 course, during one of our first meetings. Remember how this model emphasizes the idea of “Establishing a territory, …Establishing a niche, …and then Occupying the niche“? Now that you are deeper into the process of your own proposal work, I think it is useful to consider the CARS model like a litmus test. How might the CARS model help you to assess the groundwork and foundations of your proposed research, as you work on the draft by outlining and describing your unique inquiry? **Consider how you are (or are not…yet) establishing a research territory, establishing a research niche, and then occupying a research niche.

I am pleased to have seen the energy and activity in the room during “Peer Review Protocol” time – you were “a buzz” with collaboration and peer support as you exchanged drafts and weighed-in on your work-in-progress together. I hope the peer review process helped you engage further, so that you can continue to refine your research proposal over the next few weeks. I am always emphasizing the iterative nature of research work. Make no mistake, research is always about circling back and refining/updating your vision/ideas.

The Homestretch

So we are on the proverbial homestretch now, with just a few more weeks to go. Next week is our last in person gathering for class. We will have a Potluck Party celebration and a round of inspiring lightning talks that introduce each of your proposed research plans. Here are some critical dates to remember:

  • 4/25 Potluck Party & Lightning Presentations (last in-person class in CAS 308)

What is a “Lightning Talk?

A lightning talk is your “elevator pitch” for your research proposal! A lightning talk is really not about squeezing a whole talk into 10 minutes, it is more about making your point clearly. Ask yourself, why should anyone do this research work I am proposing? Why does this research matter? Make a case for your research. In order to prepare for your brief talk, please:

  • Write a brief script you can read…
  • Practice reading your script before your presentation…
  • It’s okay if you go under 10 mins, but not longer.
  • Make a few slides! Add them to your last blog and the slide roster here. Limit your slides to 3-5 visually appealing slides with only a 1-3 words per slide. These slides are a visual metaphor for the compelling thoughts you will share in your lightning talk.

Bring some food and cheer to our Potluck Party!

I hope to end our ENG 5002 journey on a celebratory note, and I know a bit of food always cheers everyone up. Remember, the lightning talks you are preparing are meant to be intriguing and compelling, and we should all enjoy the diverse ideas everyone will share at the close of our time together. Our last class should be stimulating, energetic, and inspiring. Remember to trust each other to listen thoughtfully, and remember to enjoy the process of co-learning together. Bring a delightful dish!

Your to do list:

  • Prepare your lightning talk
  • Remember to bring something to share at our Potluck Party

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