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The overall purpose of this study was to examine the perceived value of mixed methods research for graduate students at a Midwestern university. A multiphase mixed methods design was used to measure graduate students perceptions of the value of a study’s methodology. The study consisted of three phases. Phase I was conducted in order to construct passages and the goal of Phase II was to create a survey. These two phases were then combined to create Phase III. Part one of Phase III was an experiment that looked at the effect of a study’s methodology on the value of the study. Participants were randomly assigned one of three methodologically distinct passages to read. All participants completed a value survey. Results indicated that students who read the mixed methods article perceived the passage as more valuable than students who read the quantitative or qualitative passage. Part two of Phase III involved focus groups that sought to better understand students’ perception of mixed methods. Students’ reported that mixed methods articles had rigorous methods, newer history, and gave readers a deep meaning of the phenomenon. This study adds to the literature base by revealing what value graduate students assign to quantitative, qualitative, and more importantly mixed methods research.
Advisor: Charles J. Ansorge