Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research

Participants

Research is an extensive process that entails planning, collection of data, analysis, and drawing conclusions. However, the most important part is identifying the population in which the sample would be drawn from. In this study, participants would be identified in advance through sampling. Those involved in research would be informed early to enable them prepare adequately for the interview. Participation would be voluntary meaning no person is to be compelled to give information (Brewer & Hunter 2006, p. 91). Additionally, participants would be given sufficient time to respond to the questions in the questionnaire. Since this study would employ a mixed method, participants are required to fill in the questions, as well as attend an interview session to support the short answers they would have give in the questionnaires. Mixed method ensures the weaknesses of either the qualitative or the quantitative method are eliminated hence paving way for triangulation.

Sampling

Sampling is an important aspect of research and the researcher is expected to select participants randomly to avoid biases. In this study, simple random sampling would be employed to collect data. The researcher will issue questionnaires to participants to the participants sampled randomly. In other words, the researcher would go for convenience sampling given the fact this type of sampling is often available readily (Creswell & Clark 2011, p. 14).

Ethical Issue

The researcher will carefully select ten participants to take part in an interview. The confidentiality of the participants will be protected in order to ensure that they are not intimidated because of their views. There would be no recording since this would infringe on the rights of the interviewee. Before conducting the interview, briefing would be paramount and the consent forms will be given to each participant (Guest 2013, p. 81).

Quantitative Survey

Under this technique, the researcher will draft questions that would be issued to participants using a standardised instrument referred to as questionnaire. Participants will be required to fill in the questions accurately without omitting some. The questionnaire would be designed in such a way that the views of participants on drug harm reduction would be captured clearly. There would be fifteen questions in total to collect views on drug reduction while twenty-two questions would be drafted to collect views on viral hepatitis. Participants would be treated equally and each of them will be given one questionnaire.

The surveys will be separated into two and the total number of students to be interviewed will be two-hundred and twenty, all from New South Wales University. Filling each questionnaire is approximated to take between seven and ten minutes. Once completed, the questionnaire is sealed in an envelope before being returned to the researcher, as this would guarantee confidentiality (Greene 2007, p. 112). While administering this questionnaire, the researcher will try to prevent social desirability bias, which comes about when participants over represent positive images when responding to questions and at the same time under portraying the attitudes or behaviours, which are less desirable. Since the questionnaire will be self-administered, chances of giving false information that represent false image will be minimised.

Qualitative Semi-structured Interviews

In this section, the findings of other scholars would be relied upon in setting the research question. The questions posed to participants will be semi-structured to ensure the responses obtained are consistent with the research question. Unlike the survey, participants will be interviewed for at least two hours to obtain detailed information. Again, each student will be expected to take an interview with a classmate in a different group.

Thereafter, software referred to as NVIVO will be utilised in coding the data obtained. The researcher expects at least twenty-two transcripts from the entire class, with each group giving twelve to fourteen scripts. In qualitative method, probing and prompting has always been a challenge to many researchers since interviewees might not be familiar with the question (Johnson & Christensen 2014, p. 34). However, the researcher has to ask respondents additional questions after the interview regarding the subject to test whether they understood the questions.

Data Analysis

Thematic analysis will be the most appropriate data analysis method for information obtained through qualitative methods while the use of SPSS, whereby comparison of means is undertaken, will be applied to data obtained through surveys.

For quantitative data, collected information would be ordinal meaning bivariate analysis will be performed to establish whether any relationship between variables exists. Additionally, use of non-parametric tests will be critical in analyzing quantitative data. In order to determine how strong the relationship between variables is, cross-tabulation will be undertaken. Through this, the researcher will establish the correlation between the effect of MSCI on IDU practices, including reuse of syringes, rushing during injections, injecting outdoors, and the use of clean water.

Triangulation

The type of sampling employed in this study cannot allow generalization hence the results would simply serve as a foundation in conducting future studies. If this research is to be of any help, an analysis of interviews should be carried out to facilitate an in-depth understanding. For instance, the use of telephone interviews could serve a great purpose, as it would allow the locals to give their views instead of relying on students only.

List of References

Brewer, J & Hunter, A 2006, Foundations of multi-method research: Synthesizing styles, Sage, Thousand Oaks.

Creswell, JW & Clark, VL 2011, Designing and conducting mixed methods research, Sage, Los Angeles.

Greene, JC 2007, Mixed methods in social inquiry, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.

Guest, G 2013, “Describing mixed methods research: An alternative to typologies”, Journal of Mixed Methods Research, Vol. 7, no. 1, pp 141-151.

Johnson, RB & Christensen, LB 2014. Educational research: quantitative, qualitative, and mixed approaches, Sage, Los Angeles.