On the Merits of Mixing Methods: A Language Program Evaluation

Date
2010
Authors
Kletzien, Jacob
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Abstract
The current evaluation study on a university-level language program intends to determine the viability of using a specific Virtual Learning Environment in all classes at the program. The evaluation that ensued followed a mixed methods design, mixing at least one quantitative and one qualitative method in the same study (Bergman, 2008b). This paper highlights the benefits of using mixed-methods in language program evaluation as seen in the professional literature and then through a practical example of an evaluation that benefited from the use of mixed methods. Despite the great amount that has been written in favor of mixing methods in all social science research, (e.g. Bergman, 2008a; Cronbach, et al., 1980) reports of actual examples are currently in small number in the professional literature despite the calls that have been made for more of such writing especially in the context of language program evaluation (Caracelli & Greene, 1997; Cronbach et al.,1980; Weiss, 1998). The report of this evaluation, which contains the extent to which methods were mixed and the benefits of that mixing of methods for the evaluation, is presented in response to those calls for such writing.
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Keywords
program evaluation, mixed methods design, Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
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