A quantitative language of description: Evolution of an instrument for mixed-methods research
To generate great explanatory power, empirical research needs to be underpinned by powerful theory and take advantage of a full range of appropriate methodological approaches. There is a growing sentiment in educational research that this aim is best served by employing both qualitative and quantitative methods within a mixed-methods framework (Creswell & Plano Clark, 2007). It is also thought that a mixed-methods approach can increase the opportunity of effectively communicating and collaborating within and between fields and thereby enable knowledge-building (Johnson & Onwuegbuzie, 2004). Yet, the mixed-methods approach has tended to be underutilized in code theory research, which has typically employed qualitative and documentary methods. This paper explores both how mixed-methods research can be enacted in code theory and its value. Specifically it traces the development of a quantitative language of description that enacts code theory concepts and its use and evolution through several mixed-methods studies.