My first degree was a B.A. in Sociology with a focus on Social Justice. As a social science, the department required students to conduct their own research projects and take several courses on research methods. I found the concept of quantitative data/research to be fairly straight forward…there are just many, many rules in order to correctly apply and use the data one collects. I enjoyed reading Understanding and Describing Quantitative Data as a review, and found it to be much more clear than the quantitative course I took years ago.

Not the whole article was review however. I was happy to read many facts about quantitative research in the education field as that is not something I had been over before. However, I was then sad to read that quantitative research is particularly difficult in education.

I experienced this while searching for a quantitative article in my field of interest. My school recently acquired a 3-D printer which I have dominion over (this won’t last but I can hope no one else is interested). A search yield 31 articles related to education and 3-D printing. Only two articles were appropriate to the topic while also featuring some quantitative data. Elusive indeed. I read both, but found Why 3D Print? The 21st-Century Skills Students Develop While Engaging in 3D Printing Projects to be the best fit for my interests.

The research was conducted by survey which featured quantitative questions (multiple choice) along with some open-ended qualitative prompts. The research aimed to answer these two questions:

  1. What skills and knowledge do teachers believe that students develop while working on 3D printing projects?
  2. How do teachers see 3D printing projects supporting students’ development of 21st-century skills?

The findings were based on the answers to the multiple choice questions as well as the quantified conversion of the qualitative questions. I found the “skills that students develop while working on 3D printing projects” to be what I was most interested in, below:


Moving forward, I feel this article will help me conduct my own research into the same field.
As for the lesson on quantitative data, I am worried that I have made an error. I am left wit two questions:
  1. Can a mixed method research methodology still fall under the quantitative umbrella?
  2. Does coding qualitative data make it quantitative?

Links to articles:
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