The mixed-methods approach is effective to be used to conduct the evaluation of the social or education program. The data analysis stage referred to the research on the role of higher education for African American women consists of such steps as the analysis of the secondary data, the analysis of the qualitative data, and the analysis of the quantitative data. The result of the secondary data analysis is the literature review. The result of the qualitative data analysis is the table with the classified case study information. The result of the pre-experimental research and data analysis is the table with the compared quantitative data answering the research question in numbers.
Data Analysis and Report Writing
The data analysis is one of the most important parts of the research process, and the stages of the analysis are determined by a type of the research question and by types of the used data. The research question for the evaluation is the following: If African American women are provided with higher education, will they be more economically productive on an individual basis? The question is rather general, and it is necessary to focus on both the qualitative and quantitative data in order to explain the expected changes in the African American women’s status and financial state.
Referring to the mixed methods approach used in the evaluation process, it is important to focus on analyzing qualitative and quantitative data. In order to determine strictly presented types of the data, it is necessary to state that the used mixed methods approach is based on combining elements of the case study approach with the focus on collecting the qualitative data and elements of such a pre-experimental research design as the posttest-only design with nonequivalent groups (Royse, Thyer, & Padgett, 2009, p. 244).
The used pre-experimental research design will provide the necessary quantitative information to evaluate a certain program. Furthermore, to state the need for the research, it is also important to refer to the literature review as secondary research. Thus, it is necessary to discuss different types of analysis and various forms of presentation and comparison for such collected data as the secondary research data, qualitative data, and quantitative data.
Analysis of the Secondary Research Data
The secondary data on outcomes of higher education for African American women are important in order to observe and discuss the tendency in the area. It is important to conduct the literature review while paying much attention to the analysis of the information and materials presented in the reports, peer-reviewed journals, and scholarly books. It is also relevant to focus on the data presented in the statistics databases and review the researchers’ analysis of the statistical information.
The information provided in newspapers and magazines is important to explain the context and the necessity for the evaluation of affirmative action and other similar programs with references to the current social tendencies. The first stage of the analysis is the organization of the secondary data into the qualitative and quantitative information and the comparison of the researchers’ conclusions on the outcomes of education programs for the African American women with the actual numbers and statistics presented in the reports (Fitzpatrick, Sanders, & Worthen, 2011, p. 112). These data will be presented in the form of the literature review, and it will become the basis for the further evaluation of the program.
Analysis of the Qualitative Data
Referring to the research question, it is important to analyze the role of higher education for African American women’s productivity and improvement of the financial state. In order to answer this question, it is necessary to collect the qualitative data associated with African American women’s thoughts and attitudes. The rationale for conducting the case study research is the necessity to focus on the African American women’s individual perception of the role of higher education in their life.
Following the case study approach, it is important to collect the data referred to the individual perception of the African American women participating in the evaluation process. The first stage of the data analysis is the organization of the details collected with the help of the questionnaire (Babbie, 2011, p. 54). African American women are expected to answer the questions about their attitudes to the higher education program and about their evaluation of the role of higher education in influencing productivity and individual economic factors.
The data will be classified into such categories as (1) Negative Attitudes to the Higher Education Program (with the focus on affirmative action strategies), (2) Positive Attitudes to the Higher Education Program; (a) Significant Role of Higher Education in Influencing Productivity and (b) Absence of the Impact of Higher Education Related to Productivity and Economic Factors.
The data should be presented in tables. After interpreting the categorized instances of the individual data, it is necessary to identify the patterns in the African American women’s individual perception of the higher education’s role and program’s effectiveness. It is important to focus on both positive and negative patterns in order to evaluate the program effectively (Babbie, 2001, p. 34). After determining the patterns, it is necessary to generalize the findings and present them in the form of a list explaining the individual attitudes to the program and issue.
Analysis of the Quantitative Data
The followed research question asks about such an important issue as a comparison of the African American women’s economic productivity, referred to as the factor of higher education. Will African American women with higher education be more economically productive on an individual basis? In order to collect the important quantitative data to compare the outcomes, it is necessary to use the elements of such a pre-experimental research design as the posttest-only design with nonequivalent groups.
The dependent variable is productivity, and there are two groups of individuals participating in the research (Mertler, 2012, p. 24). Thus, 35 African American women with higher education received as a result of the special program intervention are selected as the main group. A control group should include 45 African American women without higher education. Referring to the received results, it is possible to assess differences in women’s productivity.
To measure possible differences in the African American women’s results, it is necessary to use a questionnaire to state the participants’ productivity and economic status and a scale to focus on differences in the numbers. The first stage of the data analysis includes the organization of the numbers associated with the participants’ productivity and economic status in a table. The second stage is the calculation of the highest, lowest, and average measures according to the scale.
The measures are fixed in relation to the main group and in relation to the control group in order to receive the opportunity to compare the data (Rossi, 2003, p. 124). Thus, the next stage of the data analysis is the comparison of the control group’s numbers with the main group’s measures. The numerical data should be presented in tables and graphs.
It is expected that the African American women with higher education will demonstrate the higher rates in relation to the factors of productivity and general economic state. Furthermore, it is possible to expect that the African American women without the higher education received with the help of the program will be discussed as less economically productive in comparison with the participants from the main group (Stringer, 2013, p. 58). In spite of the fact that the pre-experimental research design cannot provide the complex data on differences and relations regarding variables, the information received after analyzing the quantitative data will add to the analysis of all the information referred to the research.
The effective evaluation of the program should be based on the mixed methods approach to conducting the research process. The important stage of the research is the analysis of the secondary data, qualitative and quantitative data. The analysis of the secondary data should be associated with conducting the literature review. The analysis of the qualitative data should be based on the analysis of the case study information. The pre-experimental research design can be discussed as the source of the quantitative data. The final stage of the data analysis includes the interpretation of all the collected details according to the aspects of the research question.
Babbie, E. (2011). The basics of social research. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth/ Cengage Learning.
Babbie, E. (2001). The practice of social research. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Fitzpatrick, J. L., Sanders, J. R., & Worthen, B. R. (2011). Program evaluation: Alternative approaches and practical guidelines. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education.
Mertler, C. A. (2012). Action research: Improving schools and empowering educators. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Rossi, P. (2003). Evaluation: A systematic approach. New York, NY: SAGE Publications, Inc.
Royse, D., Thyer, B., & Padgett, D. (2009). Program evaluation: An introduction. New York, NY: Cengage Learning.
Stringer, E. (2013). Action research. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.