November 02, 2008

Mix methods vs multi methods

Dear Comrade D,

Herewith my understanding of mix methods and multi methods. When the notion of mix methods is used, it is normally referred as mix methods research design, which is mixing both quantitative and qualitative data collection and data analysis approaches. How the mixture of both approaches could be is shown as Figure 17.2 in Creswell (2008:557).

Meanwhile, my understanding of multi methods (research design) should be referring to multiple data collection and analysis methods used in a research conduct. The combination of methods could be either quantitative, qualitative or a mixture of both. In other words, mix methods could be a sub-set of multi methods research design.

The choice of research methods should be driven by your research methodology. Examples of research methodology are case study, ethnography, experiment, quasi-experiment, survey, etc. Each of these research methodology could involve quantitative, qualitative or a mixture of both methods to gather research data. And the choice of data type to be collected in a particular research methodology should be determined by epistemological paradigm or theoretical perspectives held by the researcher who designs and conducts the research (Patton, 2002).

To tackle your problems at this moment, you could either determine your research methodology, then decide which method or combination of methods you want to use to collect your research data. After that, justify the rationale behind your choice of both research methods and research methodology by stating your epistemological views or theoretical perspective—how you see the nature of knowledge in social reality.

I hope this email won’t confuse you, instead it should be able to help your research design.


Creswell, J.W. (2008). Educational research: plannning, conducting and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research, 3rd ed. New Jersey: Pearson International Edition.

Patton, M.Q. (2002). Qualitative research and evaluation methods, London, SAGE.

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