Quantitative and Mixed Methods Research Methodologies

Quantitative and Mixed Methods Research Methodologies Faculty Members

The mission of the Quantitative and Mixed Methods Research Methodologies (QMRM) concentration of the Educational Studies Ph.D. program is to provide training with both breadth and depth in the understanding, application, and development of quantitative and/or mixed methods research methodologies.  Simply stated, QMRM graduates aim to advance research approaches used for generating knowledge in the field of education and other social and behavioral sciences.

Quantitative and Mixed Methods Research Methodologies (QMRM):

  • Is a concentration in the Educational Studies Ph.D. program
  • Provides training in the understanding, application, and development of quantitative research (i.e., psychometrics, measurement, statistical procedures, and quantitative designs)
  • Provides training in the understanding, application, and development of mixed methods research (i.e., the designs and procedures needed when researchers intentionally integrate quantitative and qualitative approaches)

The QMRM Concentration targets two types of students:

  • Students who want to become research methodologists who specialize in the advancement of research methods
  • Students who want to become applied researchers in a substantive area with a specialization in the application of a quantitative or mixed methods research approach

Graduate Students in the QMRM Concentration:

  • Complete course work in study design, data collection, and data analysis as applied in research about real-world problems
  • Learn about diverse approaches to research
  • Aim to contribute to the fields of research methodology
  • Pursue employment as a research expert (i.e., a research methodologist)

A research methodologist studies the advancement of research methods, develops and applies methods or methodologies to address complex research problems in different settings, and examines issues associated with the methods or methodologies of their expertise.

The QMRM Faculty are research methodologists that study issues such as:

  • Causal inference and measurement methods within the context of multilevel and multidimensional settings, such as classrooms and schools (Dr. Benjamin M. Kelcey)
  • Multivariate latent variable modeling, including Nonparametric and Bayesian approaches, in educational and psychological measurement and survey research (Dr. Youn Seon Lim)
  • Designs, procedural issues, and contexts for the adoption and use of mixed methods research (Dr. Vicki L. Plano Clark)
  • Implementing, evaluating and developing tools for data-driven decision making and research across a variety of disciplinary contexts (Dr. Christopher M. Swoboda)

QMRM Faculty Study Methodological Topics in the Areas of:

  • Quantitative research design
  • Measurement and psychometrics
  • Statistical data analysis techniques
  • Mixed methods research design

The Methods Used to Study Research Methods By QMRM Faculty and Students Include:

  • Monte Carlo simulations to model the performance of statistical procedures
  • Database reviews to examine how research methods are being applied in substantive research
  • Empirical research on existing practices, such as how and why researchers use certain methods
  • Empirical research on new tools to better understand the advantages and limitations of research tools
  • Data analytics and large-scale database design to facilitate the collection, warehousing, organization, analysis, and dissemination of qualitative and quantitative data to facilitate institutional decision making

Research methodologists are generally very successful at obtaining employment after earning a Ph.D. degree.

The types of positions obtained by research methodologists include:

  • Professors – Academic positions involve research, teaching, and service at colleges and universities
  • Testing Professionals – Research positions at testing companies (such as ETS or College Board) involve the development, assessment, and refinement of tests and performance measures
  • Evaluators – Evaluation positions within commercial and nonprofit agencies involve the design and implementation of needs, formative, and summative assessments
  • Research Statisticians/Consultants – Research support statisticians/consultants within specialized research groups, such as a College of Nursing or a program of grant funding, focus on the development and implementation of research grants
  • Business Statisticians/Consultants – Business statisticians/consultants within companies, such as Netflix or Facebook, focus on data mining to uncover important trends in consumption and productivity
  • Institutional Researchers – Institutional researchers within higher education focus on empirically describing and analyzing the full spectrum of functions (educational, administrative, and support) at institutions to facilitate institutional decision making
  • Assessment Coordinators – Assessment coordinators oversee the student and teacher assessment process within K-12 districts