PRO9011 PhD course in Mixed Methods (5 ECTS)

23-24 March 2020
Nord University, Bodø

Level: PhD
Programme of study: PhD in the study of professional practice. The course is a free-standing course.
Type of course: Research Methods
Duration: 1 semester  (spring 2020)
Costs: No tuition fees.
Responsible faculty: Faculty of Education and Arts
Course coordinator: Heidi K. Harju-Luukkainen.
Administrative coordinator: Geir Fjeldavli 
Teaching language: English  
Target group: Candidates who are in the beginning stages of their dissertation.
Course evaluation: The evaluation is part of the university's quality assurance system.
Maximum number of participants: 20. In the event the course attracts high interest, priority will be given to PhD candidates at Nord University. 

Course description

Introduces concepts of and considerations for mixed methods research designs for education, social and behavioral sciences. Reinforces principles of research and inquiry. Prepares candidates to apply mixed methods to own research prospectus (research problem, question[s], data sources, analyses). Prepares candidates to use mixed methods terminology.

Learning outcomes

The candidates will have knowledge of: 

1. The stages of a research process (reinforces prior knowledge)
2. Various mixed methods designs within an education (or related) research paradigm 
3. Stages in the research cycle where methods can be mixed 
4. Considerations when considering a mixed methods design
The candidates shall be able to: 
5. Draw a model (prototype) of own research design 
6. Demonstrate the use of terminology from mixed methods paradigm 
7. Design (or modify existing) a study prospectus applying mixed methods or elements of mixed methods, using appropriate terminology

General competence: 
The candidates shall demonstrate an understanding of a research cycle: conceptual framework and gap in the existing literature, research questions, data and collection methods, data analyses, connections back to the research questions and triangulation (if applicable). 


  • Candidates who intend to sit for exams must have completed the master's degree in a relevant field. 
  • PR415H Metodologi og forskningsdesign
  • Abstract (300 words): Research topic, questions, design, methods (data sources, analyses)

Recommended previous knowledge

Coursework in qualitative and/(or) qualitative methods.

Mode of delivery

In person (attendance required for the entire seminar)

Learning activities and teaching methods

Lecture, small group activities


The participants qualifying for 5 ECTS credits must write an individual essay (7-10 pages, 1,5 line spacing, wide left margin) on a topic chosen within the course framework. The deadline is 1 month after end of session. The essays are graded on the scale "Passed" - "Failed".

- Summary of relevant, main literature and conceptual framework on the topic
- Statement of the research problem (including gap in literature)
- Research questions (which flow from the literature review and framework)
- Hypotheses if appropriate to design
- Statement of research design
- Data sources (may include document sources, and/or participants, setting)
- Reliability and validity, or trustworthiness (depending on design)
- Data analyses methods
- Triangulation of data (if applicable)
- Preliminary plan on how and where to connect results to research questions

Other information to address:
- Timeline
- Statement on institutional human subjects permission if applicable (including elements of a consent form)

Throughout prospectus, state explicitly where the study involves elements of mixed methods

Course literature and recommended reading

The course literature is divided into mandatory and recommended readings. It is required that students read the mandatory literature prior to the course week. A list of the literature will be available about one month prior to the course week.

Required reading:

1. Introductory texts:

Creswell, J. W. (2018). Research Design: Quantitative, Qualitative and Mixed Methods. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Harju-Luukkainen, H., Itkonen, T., & Garvis, S. (in press). Mixed Methods Design in Early Childhood Education Research. Gleerups Förlag. Göterborg, Sweden.

2. Empirical example of mixed methods: (go through, pay attention to the coding scheme developed from theoretical framework; identify where the methods were mixed)

Itkonen, T. (2007). Politics of Passion: Collective Action from pain and loss. American Journal of Education, 113. 577-604. 

Recommended supplementary literature: 

Creswell, J. W., Plano Clark, V., Gutmann, M., & Hanson, W. (2003). Advances in mixed method design. In A. Tashakkori & C. Teddlie (Eds.), Handbook of mixed methods in the social and behavioral sciences. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. 

Itkonen, T. (2009). Stories of hope and decline: Interest group effectiveness in national special Education Policy. Educational Policy, 23(1), 43-65.

Schoonenboom, J. & BVurke, R. (2017). How to construct a mixed methods 
design. Köln Z Soziol (Suppl 2) 69, 107–131. DOI 10.1007/s11577-017-0454-1 

Teddie, C., & Tashakkori, A. (2010). Overview of contemporary issues in mixed methods research. In A. Tashakkori, & C. Teddlie (Eds.) SAGE Handbook of mixed methods in social & behavioral research (@nd ed.)(pp. 1-42). Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.

Weis, L., Eisenhart, M., & Duncan, G. (2019). Mixed Methods for Studies that Address Broad and Enduring Issues in Education Research: Special Report. Teachers College Record, 121(10). ID Number:22723. Date Accessed: 4/29/2019.

Yin, R. K. (2006). Mixed methods research: Are the methods genuinely integrated or merely parallel? Research in the Schools, 13(1), 41-47. 

Registration deadline: 

> 9 March 2020 
> by email to Geir Fjeldavli 

About the PhD

PhD in the study of professional praxis

 Course responsible