Quality & Quantity

, Volume 43, Issue 4, pp 585–597 | Cite as

Towards a flexible online mixed method design with a feedback loop

Original Paper

Abstract

The notion of mixed methods design relates to the research studies that combine qualitative and quantitative approaches. However, most of these studies are tailored to specific research problem in a particular study and are typically limited to a fixed sequence of qualitative and quantitative approaches (e.g. qualitative interviews followed by a survey or vice-versa). This limitation historically arises from time, cost and logistic restrictions. As an alternative, we develop an general extension of fixed mixed method design by introducing a flexible feedback-loop so that several phases can be combined in a flexible order. In practice, such designs are now increasingly feasible within an information-communication technology environment, where online respondents are readily available for immediate participation. An online experiment combining interactive series of web surveys and in-depth web interviews was performed to compare this approach with standard two-phase designs involving mixed methods. The costs, timing, quality of finiding and experiences of researchers were systematically evaluated. In summary, the proposed approach proved to be very beneficial.

Qualitative methods Quantitative methods Mixed method design Online interviews Web surveys Information-communication technologies 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Informatics and Methodology, Faculty of Social SciencesUniversity of LjubljanaLjubljanaSlovenia

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