Mix Methods Research

I read this Poem today as an argument for mix methods research. I had heard it paraphrased before without realizing it came from another source. It made me smile so decided to share it here.

John Godfrey Saxe’s ( 1816-1887) version of the famous Indian legend,

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approach’d the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”

The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, -“Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”

The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a snake!”

The Fourth reached out his eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he,
“‘Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!”

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Then, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!

The Art of Seeing

I stumbled across this book by Huxley, as most do who study visual communication, and was fascinated by his views on learning to see empirically. I did also get quite a good laugh out of some of the other ideas like “palming” and “sunning”, which is essentially rubbing your eyes and starring at the sun to make your eyes work better. I’m no optometrist so I could be wrong, but these both sound like bad ideas. Since the book is 70 years old there seems to be some pdf copies of it floating around on the internet, though there is nothing better than a print copy 😀

Proposed Methodology & Methods

The study I propose is still very rough around the edges, however, being the visual person I am, I thought a diagram was in order. In my attempt to make the diagram look serious it wound up looking like a 5th form science text-book diagram. The approach uses heuristic inquiry, practice-based research, and a mix methods qualitative and quantitative approach for data collection. This approach should allow enough flexibility for the rapid changes taking place with mobile technologies. That said, the approach still needs tweaks and clarification and is a work in progress.Diagram of methodology and methods