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Exemplars of Integration in Engineering Education’s Use of Mixed Methods Research

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Instruments and Methods for Studying Student Experiences and Outcomes

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors


David Reeping Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. David Reeping is a Postdoctoral Associate in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech. He earned his Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech and was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. He received his B.S. in Engineering Education with a Mathematics minor from Ohio Northern University. His main research interests include transfer student information asymmetries, threshold concepts in electrical and computer engineering, agent-based modeling of educational systems, and advancing quantitative and fully integrated mixed methods.

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Cherie D. Edwards Virginia Commonwealth University

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Dr. Cherie D. Edwards is an Education Research Assistant Professor in the Office of Assessment, Evaluation, and Scholarship in the School of Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her research and scholarship are focused on exploring the implementation of mixed methods, qualitative, and arts-informed research designs in studies examining issues of education research. Her work in these areas includes but is not limited to her dissertation study examining youth acculturation patterns through an arts-informed approach to mixed methods, exploring professional identity development in medical and engineering students, and formative joint display analysis on dissonance in a cultural competency study of first-year engineering students.

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This theory paper explores ways in which the engineering education community can achieve more comprehensive integration in mixed methods designs. We searched for exemplars in the Journal of Engineering Education, the European Journal of Engineering Education, and the Australasian Journal of Engineering Education using “mixed-method” and “mixed methods” as keywords – resulting in 60 viable articles. Using Creamer’s Mixed Methods Evaluation Rubric (MMER), we found exemplar articles demonstrating considerable proficiency across one or more of the rubric’s four criteria: (1) amount of mixing, (2) interpretive comprehensiveness, (3) transparency and (4) methodological foundation. Using the exemplars as discussion points, we advocate for: (1) the use of mixing during analysis to increase the interplay between the different strands of inquiry (amount of mixing), (2) framing results using the study’s constructs, research questions, or perspectives to avoid siloing the study’s approaches (interpretive comprehensiveness), (3) using methods flowcharts to communicate design features (transparency), and (4) drawing from a more extensive body of methodological literature to justify design decisions (methodological foundation).

Reeping, D., & Edwards, C. D. (2020, June), Exemplars of Integration in Engineering Education’s Use of Mixed Methods Research Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34623

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