After reading the first chapter of the dissertation, I understood that mixed methods sequential explanatory study is comprised of both qualitative and quantitative research designs. Additionally, I learned that quantitative research methods help in exploring the relationships or the associations between or among different variables. I also understood that qualitative research methods help to address the objectives of the study by asking the students to describe and interpret their experiences on a particular phenomenon related to the study (Parker, 2015).
Additionally, from examining the research questions related to the quantitative research design, I realized that quantitative research questions address the relationship between many independent variables and one dependent variable. For instance, the first research question explored the association between three predictor variables and one outcome variable. Quantitative research questions are descriptive. According to Houser (2016), these questions are useful in exploring the degree of relationship that exists between two or more variables. Additionally, they help to answer questions such as How often? and How much? On the other hand, qualitative research questions are open-ended. Open-ended questions enable the research subjects to respond in their own words (Johnson & Christensen, 2008).
It is worth noting that mixed method design was the most appropriate research design for this study because the researchers sought to explore the problem using qualitative and quantitative research questions. Additionally, this research design help researchers to have an in-depth understanding of the research problem and question, which cannot be fully addressed by quantitative or qualitative research design alone. Even though mixed research method was employed, the design was predominantly quantitative. A mixed method research design which relies more on the quantitative method than the qualitative approach is referred to as a quantitative-dominant mixed methods study.
By reading the article, I also learned that participants quantitative research data could collect using survey while the quantitative data can be analyzed using correlational analysis to determine whether or not a relationship exists between the independent and the dependent variable. On the other hand, data needed to address qualitative research questions were collected using semi-structured interviews. The choice of the survey as a data collection technique was very important for this study because it enabled participants to collect data from many participants. A large number of respondents increases the external validity of the research findings. Correlational analysis was the most justifiable method of analysis because it can help in answering quantitative research questions that examine the relationship between two or more variables. However, its major drawback is that it correlation between two variables does not imply causality (Parker, 2015).
Even though mixed method design is useful in addressing both qualitative and quantitative research questions, its major disadvantage is that it is time-consuming, demands a lot of resources, and requires many experts to complete (Parker, 2015). The sample for the quantitative part of the study as recruited through criterion-based sampling method. In this sampling approach, participants were selected for a study based on some predetermined criterion of importance. Only participants who were enrolled for fully online studies and had completed one full term of the study were picked for the study. On the other hand, sampling for the qualitative phase of the study was done using nonprobability sampling technique. Specifically, the researchers used purposive sampling to recruit the subjects. In this sampling approach, individuals from a predetermined group are purposely sought out and sampled (Gerrish & Lacey, 2010).
Gerrish, K., & Lacey, A. (2010). The research process in nursing. John Wiley & Sons.
Houser, J. (2016). Nursing research: Reading, using and creating evidence. Jones & Bartlett Learning.
Johnson, B., & Christensen, L. (2008). Educational research: Quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches. Sage.
Parker, C. L. (2015). Online student engagement: Perceptions of the impact on student learning and effective practices. Northeastern University.
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