Applying mixed methods under the framework of theory‐driven evaluations

University of Akron
New Directions for Evaluation 11/2004; 1997(74):61 - 72. DOI: 10.1002/ev.1072

ABSTRACT The application of mixed methods under the framework of theory-driven evaluations can minimize the potential tension and conflict of mixing qualitative and quantitative methods, as well as compensate for each method's weaknesses. Mixed methods should not be applied indiscriminantly, however, but rather contingently under particular conditions as described in this chapter.

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    ABSTRACT: Abstract In this paper, we describe the use of a mixed method design to evaluate the impact of an integrated assessment system on science teachers’ assessment perceptions and practice. This design was selected to address the methodological challenges of multilevel and multisite evaluation presented by a complex innovation. We provide an example of a cross-level exploratory analysis, facilitated by the integration of quantitative and qualitative methods; this provides one solution to the interpretation of multilevel, multisite evaluation data when a purposive sample is too small to use sophisticated quantitative techniques. The findings indicate that aggregated results would be misleading and discrepant cases would be masked. 1 Evaluating the Effects of an Integrated Assessment System on Science Teachers’ Assessment Perceptions and Practice The Science Education for Public Understanding Program received funds from the National
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    ABSTRACT: This article explores the debates between quantitative and qualitative methods in the evaluation process, analyzes the challenges about methodological mix in terms of credibility and validity of data and tools, and the evaluation findings. Beyond the epistemological contradictions, it seems that, in terms of usefulness, the mixing of methods is a practical solution, along with hybrids theories, able to provide information to improve the sufficiency of the program. Mixing methods is also a way to reduce conflict between positivism and constructivism and an opportunity for increasing flexibility that the evaluator has in choosing the most appropriate methods for obtaining information in the assessment process.
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