Explanatory Sequential (QUAN -> qual)
According to Creswell (2013), this mix method style uses qualitative methods to do a deep dive into the quantitative results that have been previously gathered (often to understand the data with respect to the culture). The key defining feature here is that quantitative data is collected before the qualitative data and that the quantitative data drives the results from the qualitative. Thus, the emphasis is given to the quantitative results in order to explore and make sense of qualitative results. It is used to probe quantitative results by explaining them via qualitative results. Essentially, using qualitative results to enhance your quantitative results.
Exploratory Sequential (QUAL -> quan)
According to Creswell (2013), this mix method style uses quantitative methods to confirm the qualitative results that have been previously gathered (often to understand the culture behind the data). The key defining feature here is that qualitative data is collected before the quantitative data and that the qualitative data drives the results from the quantitative. Thus, the emphasis is given to the qualitative results in order to explore and make sense of quantitative results. It is used to probe qualitative results by explaining them via quantitative results. Essentially, using quantitative results to enhance your qualitative results.
Which method would you most likely use? If your methodological fit suggests you to use a mixed-methods research project, does your world view colors your choice?
- Creswell, J. W. (2013). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches, 4th Edition. [VitalSource Bookshelf version]. Retrieved from http://online.vitalsource.com/books/9781483321479/epubcfi/6/40