A mixed research study of pedagogical approaches and student learning in doctoral-level mixed research courses

Anthony J. Onwuegbuzie, Rebecca K. Frels, Nancy L. Leech, Kathleen M.T. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Scant explicit guidance currently exists on how to teach mixed research courses. Thus, the purpose of this mixed research study was to compare and contrast pedagogical approaches used by instructors in mixed research courses, as well as the learning experiences of students enrolled in a mixed research course. This investigation involved the use of a fully mixed concurrent dominant status design and a mixed sampling design that involved a combination of concurrent, identical, sequential, nested, and multilevel sampling. The teacher participants were 8 instructors of mixed research courses from institutions around the United States who were purposively selected via critical case sampling such that they represented first generation instructors of mixed research courses. These participants were interviewed either face-to-face or remotely (e.g., via Skype). The student participants were 48 doctoral students enrolled in one of three sections of a doctoral-level mixed research course taught by one of the teacher participants who provided both quantitative (e.g., number of research methodology courses taken) and qualitative (e.g., mixed methodological dissertation research proposals, reflexive journals) data. Among the numerous findings emerging from the instructor interview data was the emergence of a three-dimensional model for categorizing and organizing pedagogical approaches used in mixed research courses. For the student participants, the number of prior research methodology courses was positively related to the quality of mixed methodological dissertation research proposals. Further, the vast majority of students (91.7%) reported positive course experiences and expressed positive perceptions about mixed research. Implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-199
Number of pages31
JournalInternational Journal of Multiple Research Approaches
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Mixed methods courses
  • Mixed methods research
  • Pedagogies
  • PhD research
  • Student learning
  • Teaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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