Mixed Methods Research Workshop Report

Learner Development SIG Online Get-Together

Mixed Methods Research Workshop – experiences, discussion, questions

Led by Tim Ashwell
Sunday, September 27th 2020
14:30 – 17:00

As many of us have learned, research methods are usually categorized either as quantitative or qualitative and there is a tendency for researchers to use methods of either one type or the other, but not both. Mixed Methods Research is about using both quantitative and qualitative methods deliberately and in a principled way in order to understand more deeply and with greater clarity what is being investigated.

In this session, we discussed the research methods we have used and whether we have tried combining techniques from across the quantitative/qualitative divide. We then discussed in more detail about the strengths and weaknesses of a mixed methods approach. Finally, Tim explained how he has been using a mixed methods approach in a project he is currently undertaking to show how MMR can work in practice.

Below is are reports from the people who attended the meeting

Ian: First of all, I would like to thank Tim for putting on a great workshop. One of the most interesting issues to be brought up in the workshop for me was the suitability of quantitative research for Language teaching. This has always been a challenge for me as, in my view, the primary goal of qualitative research is to find truths that are generalizable across different contexts. This is often difficult to do with small scale research, where results may be highly influenced by the context the research was conducted in and, therefore, hard to generalize across other contexts. One interesting comment made in our discussions was that small scale quantitative studies can be useful to test the findings of larger studies and see if the results are really generalizable. However, without access to a huge data pool, I have always found qualitative research methods to be more attractive for the small scale, context based research projects that I more typically engage in. Having said that, after attending this workshop, I gained an appreciation of how quantitative, statistical methods might be used in tandem qualitative methods to give the qualitative findings more validity. This seminar has just been a starting point for me, but I look forward to looking into MMR more deeply and adding more quantitative research techniques to my research project. Tim was kind enough to give a comprehensive list of literature to review, which you can find at the bottom of this document. Looks like I have a lot of learning ahead of me

Lorna: Ian, James and Ken (Team IJK!), you are fantastic and thank you for making this LD Get-together possible. The discussion was thought provoking and I will definitely continue to explore Mixed Methods for my own research. I was brought up in the teacher-fronted type of classroom, so it is illuminating for me to experience the discussion-based class that encourages learner autonomy and assumes that I will come ready to participate. (I will confess that I regret not coming better prepared with my notes from previous research projects/lectures.) Tim Ashwell did not come to be the “authority” on Mixed Methods, but he did come intending to have us look at our own research and talk about our questions and experiences with other participants. Today was valuable for me as it helped me to have new questions about mixed methods and also a new perspective on being in a learner-centered “classroom.”

Greg: A most useful topic that shows the range that the LD SIG Get-Togethers can plan and cater to. An excellent catalyst and sharing of information and links to now look more closely into resources that provide some frameworks and further examples (like the one Tim gave) to clarify ‘how’ to consider managing the integration in different ways, phases, or stages of the process. Also, while I know that it was not designed as a chapter workshop or a SIG Forum presentation event per se, but rather a ‘get-together,’ one of the takeaways for me will be on the adult training/professional development side where with a relatively unknown audience that is not pre-screened or pre-qualified, I might plan to have 3 tiers or chunks of information available (or available in different formats) and then after a quick canvassing of the level of familiarity with the topic and its tiers and/or with a better understanding of the needs of the individuals actively participating, I may then divide up the time (technological interferences aside) according to the priorities of the audience at hand. For example, except for our own breakout room chat summaries, did we ever get a list of “types” of QUAN QUAL methods? And if not, then maybe less time on that general ‘shopping list’ in discussion and rather a quiz or a poll could be used to then lead to a summary from the literature (which would then make the slides archived and posted for those unable to attend more inclusive and informative). Personally I was looking for more depth in the specifics such as slides 10-11, 13-15 but now at least I have a couple resources that have captured my interests to explore further – so, great! Thanks again Tim et al.

Useful Resources

Brewer, J., & Hunter, A. (2006). Foundations of multimethod research: Synthesizing styles . Sage.

Brown, J. (2014). Mixed methods research for TESOL. Edinburgh University

Cresswell , J. W. (2003). Research design: qualitative and mixed method approaches.

Creswell, J. W. (2014). A concise introduction to mixed methods research . Sage

Creswell, J. W., & Clark, V. L. P. (2017). Designing and conducting mixed methods research . Sage

Freeman, D. (2016). Educating second language teachers. Oxford University

Hesse Biber , S. N., & Johnson, R. B. (Eds.). (2015) The Oxford handbook of multimethod and mixed methods research inquiry. Oxford University Press.

Johnson, R. B., & Christensen, L. (2019). Educational research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches. SAGE Publications, Incorporated.

Savignon , S. J. (1991). “Communicative language teaching: State of the Art.” TESOL Quarterly 25 (2), 261-278.

Tashakkori , A., Johnson, R. B., & Teddlie, C. (2008). Foundations of mixed methods research: Integrating quantitative and qualitative approaches in the social and behavioral sciences. SAGE Publications,

Wikipedia contributors. (2020, May 19). Multimethodology. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia . Retrieved 00:42, September 26, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Multimethodology&oldid=957642040

チャールズ・テッドリー (著 アッバス・タシャコリ (著 土屋 敦 (監訳 八田 太一 (監訳 藤田 みさお (監訳 )(2017)
混合研究法の基礎 社会・行動科学の量的・質的アプローチの統合。西村書店。

Conceptual models to guide integration during analysis in convergent mixed methods studies – Ellen Moseholm, Michael D Fetters <https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2059799117703118>

Most people are probably already familiar with the IRIS digital repository, but…
IRIS is a collection of instruments, materials, stimuli, and data coding and analysis tools used for research into second languages, including second and foreign language learning, multilingualism, language education, language use and processing. Materials are freely accessible and searchable, easy to upload (for contributions) and download (for use).


Also, just a few weeks ago, Indiana University re-established a database for language learning tasks for teaching and research into task-based language teaching and learning.

This database provides a central location for language learning tasks. Whether you are a language teacher or researcher, this site is for you!