Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

MHS Library | Extended Investigation (VCE)

The vocabulary of research methods, when used APPROPRIATELY in your academic writing, takes your writing from good to excellent and gives clarity to the reader.

You should use this glossary after you have drafted; edit your work with this vocabulary where is it applicable and appropriate. This vocabulary should not be added as isolated sentences.


CASE STUDIES - a qualitative design in which a variety of data is collected on 1 or more individuals over a set and sustained period of time.

CONSTRUCT VALIDITY - the researcher has clearly defined and measured their variables.

CONVERGENT MIXED METHODS - using mixed methods (collection of both quantitative and qualitative data) but where the researcher analyzes the data separately.

DESCRIPTIVE ANALYSIS - when analysed data is described by mean/standard deviation and numerical scores.

EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN - quantitative research that includes an intervention.

EXPLANATORY SEQUENTIAL MIXED METHODS - mixed methods in 2 phases; the researcher collects quantitative data in the 1st phase , analyses the results, and then uses a qualitative 2nd phase to help explain the quantitative results.

EXPLORATORY SEQUENTIAL MIXED METHODS - mixed methods in 3 phases; the researcher collects qualitative data and analyses it 1st phase, then 2nd phase designs a feature to gain quantitative data based on the 1st phase analysis (for example an intervention), and finally 3rd phase tests the quantitative data gained from the 2nd phase.

FOCUS GROUP - interview involving a small number of demographically similar people.

INTERVIEW PROTOCOL - a form used by a qualitative researcher for recording down the information during an interview.

MIXED METHODS - combines or integrates both qualitative and quantitative.

MIXED METHODS CASE STUDY DESIGN - a mix of designs between convergent, explanatory and sequential.

MIXED METHODS EVALUATION DESIGN - using one or more designs (convergent, explanatory or sequential) and in addition an added evaluation procedure, for example evaluate the survey, or evaluate the intervention.

MIXED METHODS EXPERIMENTAL (INTERVENTION) DESIGN - researcher collects data from both qualitative and quantitative sources, analyses the data, and finally embeds the data within an experiment or intervention.

NARRATIVE RESEARCH - qualitative strategy where the researcher asks one or more individuals to provide live stories, this story is retold by the researcher.

OBSERVATIONAL PROTOCOL - a form used for recording qualitative data through observation.

PARTICIPANT - an individual who has agreed to take part.

QUALITATIVE DOCUMENTS - includes public documents (for example; newspapers, official reports, government websites) and private documents (for example; personal diaries, emails).

QUALITATIVE INTERVIEWS - interviews that are open-ended where the researchers intention is to elicit views and opinions from the participant(s) or focus group; they can be face-to-face, on the phone, live digital.

QUALITATIVE OBSERVATIONS - researcher records observations (behaviour and activities) of participants at the research site.

QUALITATIVE RESEARCH - exploring and understanding individuals or groups in a social (or human) problem. The process involves asking questions, collecting data and analysing the data inductively looking for themes to interpret the data.

QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH - examining relationships among variables, these variables can be measured and numerical data is generated. The data is anaylsed using statistical procedures.

QUASI-EXPERIMENT - a form of experimental research where individuals are not randomly assigned to a group.

RANDOM SAMPLING - the sample is representative of the population*.

* The population is an identified group for the research.

STATISTICAL CONCLUSION VALIDTY - arises when researchers draw inaccurate inferences either from inadequate statistical data crunching or making poor statistical assumptions.

VALIDITY (IN QUALITATIVE RESEARCH) - the researcher makes checks for the accuracy of their findings.

VALIDITY (IN QUANTITATIVE RESEARCH) - drawing meaningful and useful inferences/conclusions from the data.

VALDITY STRATEGIES - procedures, eg, participant checking, triangulating data sources, that researchers use to demonstrate the accuracy of their findings.

VARIABLE - a characteristic of an individual or organisation that can be observed and/or measured.


Creswell, J. (2018). RESEARCH DESIGN Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches, 5th E20dition.

Note; there are 2 copies of this book on the MHS Library EI overnight loans