Mixed and Multi-method Research Online

Categories: Focus Series, Mixed, Multimodal, Online Research, Research, Research Cases, Teaching, Tools and Resources, Uncategorised


Mixed and multimethods research are our focus for May. Through original posts, written and video author interviews, open access articles and resources, and a webinar, we will explore ways to mix it up.

Time flies! Five years ago I published a chapter that relates to this month’s MethodSpace focus:

Salmons, J. (2015). Conducting mixed and multi-method research online. In S.-H. Biber & B. Johnson (Eds.), Oxford Handbook of Mixed and Multimethod Research. Oxford: Oxford Press.

Find the uncorrected proof on ResearchGate.

In this chapter I analyzed a collection of multimethod qualitative and mixed methods studies with a common feature: they used online or technology-enabled approaches. In addition to collecting data on the Internet, they used GPS and apps, which I termed technology-enabled data collection. In some cases, researchers combined face-to-face and online methods. In others, they used technology in more than one way.

I invite you to use the analytic process I described in the chapter to look at some recent open access multimethod qualitative or mixed methods studies. These studies used Big Data tools and other technologies in their research. Want to share your diagrams and thoughts? Contact me directly and I will post them. Also, if you have conducted such research, or have read interesting studies, please use the comment area to share them with other MethodSpace readers.

Chongo, M., Chase, R. M., Lavoie, J. G., Harder, H. G., & Mignone, J. (2018). The Life Story Board as a Tool for Qualitative Research: Interviews With HIV-Positive Indigenous Males. International Journal of Qualitative Methods. https://doi.org/10.1177/1609406917752440

Abstract. Within the context of a study about the lived experiences of Indigenous males living with HIV in Vancouver, Canada, we explored the utilization of an innovative method of collecting the narratives of study participants. This article describes and assesses the use of the Life Story Board (LSB) as a potentially rich interview tool for qualitative research and explores the process, as well as its advantages and challenges. The LSB uses sets of cards, markers, and notation on a play board to create a visual representation of a verbal narration about someone’s life situation or story. Five study participants took part in a conventional face-to-face interview and 4 months later were interviewed with the use of the LSB. These study participants were asked toward the end of the LSB session about their experience of being interviewed with and without the LSB. Data were also gathered from the interviewers’ experience. The findings suggested that the LSB offers interesting opportunities when used in qualitative research. Study participants found it to facilitate a reflective and more in-depth narration of their lived experience. The interviewer’s perspective for the most part corroborated these observations.

Hefler, M., Kerrigan, V., Freeman, B., Boot, G. R., & Thomas, D. P. (2019). Using Facebook to reduce smoking among Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people: a participatory grounded action study. BMC Public Health, 19(1), 1-21.

Background. There is limited evidence for the effectiveness of social media to promote healthy behaviour among Indigenous Australians, including to reduce smoking. Social media has significant potential to stimulate interpersonal influence to quit, however an important knowledge gap is how and what content people choose to share with friends and family. This paper explores the decision making processes of community members for sharing tobacco control content with family and friends on Facebook.
Methods. Community researchers were paid to choose and share at least one tobacco control post per week for a period of 6 months on their personal Facebook page. They documented reasons for their choices, which were coded and analysed to determine features of messages most likely to be shared, and salient considerations in the decision-making process.

Teachman, G., & Gibson, B. E. (2018). Integrating Visual Methods With Dialogical Interviews in Research With Youth Who Use Augmentative and Alternative Communication. International Journal of Qualitative Methods. https://doi.org/10.1177/1609406917750945

Abstract. Scant information is available to guide the selection and modification of methods for doing research with people with communication impairments. In this article, we describe and illustrate a novel combination of methods used to optimize data generation in research with 13 disabled youth who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Using a critical dialogical methodology developed for the study, we explored links between dominant calls for social inclusion, disabled youths’ social relations and life circumstances, and their position-takings in relation to inclusion. Building on emergent methodologies, we selected and integrated complementary methods: photo-elicitation, a graphic elicitation method termed “Belonging Circles,” observations, and interviews. The interview methods were modified to recognize all AAC modes used by participants and to acknowledge the relational, situated and thus, dialogical nature of all communication in interviews. Each method is described, and rationales for their selection and modification are discussed. Processes used to combine the methods, generate data, and guide analysis are illustrated using a case example from the study. The integrated methods helped illuminate the lives and practices of youth who use AAC and the strategies they used to negotiate inclusion across the social spaces that they traversed. We conclude with reflections on the strengths and limitations of our approach, future directions for development of the methodology, and its potential use in research with a broad range of persons experiencing communication impairments.

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One thought on “Mixed and Multi-method Research Online

  1. [* Shield plugin marked this comment as “Trash”. Reason: Failed Bot Test (checkbox) *]
    very informative article, discovered a lot of new things, thanks

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