Chapter 13: Mixed Methods

This exercise is concerned with method triangulation. You should select any two of the methods discussed in Chapters 7–12 (i.e. interviews, focus groups transcripts, observation, texts, and visual images). Then you should choose a research topic where these two methods can be applied. For example, you might want to compare your observations of a library with interviews with library users and staff. Alternatively, you could obtain official documents about the academic aims of your university and compare these with your observations, interviews or audio recordings of a teaching session (subject to everyone’s agreement).

Now do the following:

  1. Briefly analyse each of your two sources of data. What does each source tell you about your topic?
  2. Identify different themes emerging in the two data sources. How far are these differences relevant for an overall understanding of the topic?
  3. Using your data, assess the argument that evidence is only relevant in the context of the situation in which it arises.
  4. In the light of the above, explain whether, if you had to pursue your topic further, you would use multiple methods.