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The Development, Design, and Test of a Self-Assessment Instrument of Mixed Methods Research Proficiency

Timothy C Guetterman, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


Mixed methods research is the collection, analysis, and integration of qualitative and quantitative data. The use of mixed methods research has been growing exponentially in fields such as health sciences and education. Demand for training is also increasing. However, a small portion of mixed methods literature addresses teaching and learning mixed methods. While that small body of literature focuses on teaching and pedagogy, this study took the perspective of the proficiency to conduct mixed methods. This study examined mixed methods proficiency, using a conceptual framework from second language acquisition, the Common European Framework. Little is known about the underlying knowledge, skills, and existential competence to develop mixed methods proficiency. An instrument is needed to gather baseline information. This study employed an exploratory sequential mixed methods design for the purpose of developing a typology and instrument. It consisted of three phases: 1) an initial qualitative exploration of proficiency involving interviews (n = 8) with leading mixed methods methodologists and an examination of curricula (n = 25); 2) an intermediate instrument development phase using building integration to develop the brief Mixed Methods Skills Self-Assessment instrument; and 3) a quantitative follow-up phase that administered the instrument to researchers using mixed methods (n = 264) to examine reliability of scores, evidence of validity, and correlates among the data. The integrated qualitative and quantitative results indicated that mixed methods proficiency is comprised of underlying professional experiences, knowledge, skills (know how), and personal characteristics of researchers. The instrument yielded some evidence of validity and adequate reliability. It can be completed in seven minutes, on average, and may be used in workshops, courses, and professional development plans. The study also tested a path model of proficiency. The model indicated that professional experiences are important to develop knowledge and skills. Both underlying declarative knowledge about mixed methods and professional experiences are important develops to skills (know how). Working on a mixed methods project seems to be the most critical aspect to develop proficiency.

Subject Area

Educational tests & measurements|Instructional Design|Educational psychology

Recommended Citation

Guetterman, Timothy C, "The Development, Design, and Test of a Self-Assessment Instrument of Mixed Methods Research Proficiency" (2015). ETD collection for University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AAI3707829.