SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1

Archibald, M. M. (2016). Investigator triangulation: A collaborative strategy with potential for mixed methods research. Journal of Mixed Methods Research, 10(3), 228-250. doi:10.1177/155868981557092

Abstract:  The purpose of this article is to explore investigator triangulation (IT), a collaborative strategy with potential for mixed methods research (MMR).  A review of the literature was conducted to identify IT’s core elements and its use in MMR.  Five databases, 2 MMR journals, and 13 MMR texts were searched for evidence of IT according to pre-established inclusion criteria.  IT descriptions and applications were inconsistent and lacked detailed reporting.  Incongruence between IT procedures and associated claims were present.  IT was generally limited to single-strand data analysis and was used predominantly to reduce researcher bias.  IT’s potential as a generative and pragmatic research strategy used to engage with tensions emerging through diversity in MMR is explored and reporting guidelines are presented.

Questions that apply to this article:

  1. The author gives a detailed overview of triangulation beginning on page 229.  Do you feel this description is in line with Hinchey’s (2008) definition?  Explain your response.
  2. Even though the findings in this article are somewhat nebulous, why do you believe the author still has such high hopes for the use of triangulation in mixed methods research?  Explain your response.

Article 2

Foulger, T. S. (2010). External conversations: An unexpected discovery about the critical friend in action research inquiries. Action Research, 8(2), 135-152. doi:10.1177/1476750309351354

Abstract:  This article is a scholarly reflection of a novice researcher conducting an action research investigation as a professional developer working with a group of elementary teachers.  By the third analysis cycle, the researcher-practitioner became overwhelmed due to the amount and variety of qualitative data, and to the additional complexities caused when situational context needed to be considered.  When the researcher sought council from a colleague outside the research event, a new function emerged called External Conversations, based on a common action research procedure, the critical friend.  The critical friend had knowledge and experiences in common with the professional developer, but did not have exposure to the action research setting.  Because of the critical friend’s lack of contextual understanding, collaborative dialogue to make sense of the data increased the researcher’s ability to see the data within context.  The External Conversation strengthened the data analysis because it addressed three dilemmas of action researchers in the field of education as identified by the literature and experienced in practice: isolation, accounting for tacit knowledge, and data overload.  Although this process was time consuming, using an External Conversation within an action research investigation may strengthen a study, and could be especially supportive for novice researchers.

Questions that apply to this article:

  1. How did the ‘critical friend’ play a part in helping this author organize the data analysis for her action research study?
  2. How does the author describe the ways in which the data analysis was strengthened through External Conversation?