From left John Hitchcock, director of the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy (CEEP), Professor Burke Johnson, executive director, MMIRA, Professor Tony J Onwuegbuzie, president, MMIRA, Professor John Creswell, co-director of the MMIRA, Hannah Gerber-specialist in social media research, Professor Nataliya Ivankova, MMIRA, Communications/ Marketing.

New approach to research to yield improved results

RESEARCHERS IN the Caribbean are being encouraged to adopt a new approach to the investigation of facts in order to arrive at more accurate conclusions.

This was the main message from the Second Mixed Methods International Research Conference which was held recently at the Iberostar Rose Hall Suites Hotel in Montego Bay. The conference, hosted by The UWI, Mona, was held under the theme Looking Backward and Forward: The Evolution of Mixed Methods Research Communities. The aim was to encourage the use of mixed methods research to enhance the research methods currently being practised by local and Caribbean researchers, and to offer an alternative to quantitative and qualitative research practices.

According to Dr Loraine Cook, senior lecturer in Educational Psychology and Research Methods at The UWI, Mona School of Education and conference chair, Mixed Methods Research is used by researchers who wish to carry out investigations at the micro and macro levels.
“It focuses on collecting, analysing and mixing both qualitative and quantitative data in a single study. It is becoming increasingly used in research practice, and is recognised as the third major research paradigm, next to qualitative and quantitative research,” she said.
“Its relevance to society is fundamental as research is used to inform policy decisions at all levels and to add credibility to those decisions. Without research, policymakers cannot make informed decisions,” she added.

Conference participants received training in Mixed Methods Research from three keynote speakers internationally recognised as experts in the field – professors John Creswell, Jennifer Greene (known as the mother of Mixed Methods) and Tony Onwuegbuzie. The conference also saw the formation of the Mixed Methods Research Caribbean Chapter (MMRCC) which was launched with 52 members as an arm of the International Association of Mixed Methods Research.
Approximately 140 people from Europe, Canada, the USA, Belize and the Caribbean, including Jamaica, Barbados and Grenada attended the conference.