A black and white photo of Yoda

Connecting Module #4 to Module #5: Teacher Response to Module #4

Your grades are on Canvas, so check for them there.

I also provide individualized feedback on modules that connect what you individually did to what you need to do in the next module, so be sure to check on that as well.

Now you know two ways of doing research; make them one

Now that you’ve been introduced to both qualitative and quantitative methods, you need to think beyond them. As I’ve mentioned before, researchers who just think of themselves as one of these methods worry me, because I think they’re treating methods as a way to produce findings, rather than as ways to think through complex research problems.

I fell into this trap early on in this class by describing myself as more “qualitative.” As I thought back though, there’s not a single study I’ve done which didn’t involve some quantitative component, whether that was during my data collection, data analysis, or even how I connected one study to the next. Both qualitative and quantitative methods have rich traditions that can be useful in variety of studies. Exploit them both regularly to become the best researcher you can be.

Communicate why you’re doing what you’re doing

In light of the above, you may employ quantitative methods, qualitative methods, or a mix of the two (called “mixed methods” research) in your Research Proposal draft for Module #5. The goal of a proposal is always communication to a decision-making audience, however: you need to translate what you intend to do in a coherent way that is free from jargon and that demonstrates sound research skills.

To do so: think of justifying everything you’re doing for the toughest critic you can think of. That voice in your head that always makes you doubt yourself? Give that voice free reign. Let it critique every procedure, every source, every sentence. Then respond to that critique to make your proposal unassailable.

The feedback you receive from myself and your peers as part of Module #5 will help you do this.

Leave a Reply