ASSESSING THE QUALITY OF Ph.D. MIXED METHODS STUDIES IN EDUCATION

Mixed methods research has come to stay as a research paradigm. However, quality variance in the mixed methods research conducted generally and especially at the post graduate level has been a major challenge. This study assessed the quality of mixed methods Ph.D. theses written by post graduate students in line with the framework for ensuring quality as propounded by Onwuegbuzie and Corrigan (2014). The authors carried out an in-depth content analysis of seven (7) Ph.D. theses written in the field of education between 2014 -2020. It was found that despite the framework formulated to achieve rigour in mixed methods research, a large number of these theses do not meet the criteria specified in the framework. The noncompliance to the framework is predominantly found in the research objectives, mixed methods sampling techniques, mixed data analysis strategy and the other phases of the studies. The study therefore concludes that the framework for ensuring rigour in mixed methods research is a quality control mechanism. Mixed methods research, like its qualitative and quantitative counterparts, can only be ethically defensive if it carries rigour. Therefore, the study recommends that the pure mixed methods researchers; most especially the Ph.D. researchers, should inject quality in their mixed methods studies for it to be worthwhile. Such quality-injection mechanisms can be achieved by specifying the philosophical perspectives guiding their studies, the goal of mixed methods studies, mixed methods sampling techniques adopted, methods of integrating qualitative and quantitative phases, legitimation approaches adopted and the other attributes specified for mixed methods studies in the framework.

Keywords: Framework, Mixed Methods, Paradigm, Rigor, Legitimation.

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