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Comunicar Journal 65: Emerging mixed methods in social research: The digital challenge (Vol. 28 - 2020)

Systematic review of mixed methods in the framework of educational innovation


In the field of education research, mixed methods have traditionally referred to the combination of quantitative and qualitative data that brings us closer to ‘reality’. However, recent literature on social and educational studies has increasingly incorporated works that integrate digital technologies and mixed methods. This novelty provides an opportunity to re-examine original contributions in the field, particularly in relation to educational innovation. Therefore, the objective of this article is to analyze the characteristics and the trends of new contributions from researchers in education. To achieve this, we carried out a systematic literature review (SLR) of 311 articles published from January 2010 to January 2020 in the Web of Science (WoS) and Scopus databases. We worked with nine questions that explored three key themes: characteristics, technologies and designs within the realm of educational innovation. The validation for this analysis was achieved using a criterion adopted by scholars at York University, which incorporates: inclusion and exclusion, relevance and description of data, as well as peer review in the analysis. Our findings indicate that networks of co-terms, identification of educational innovations and the types of designs -currently applied in educational innovation- as well as the adoption of a mixed-method approach seem to be much better suited to underpin the required combination of strategies and processes that are interwoven in order to address the complexity of the education phenomenon in our times.