Qualitative and quantitative methods as complementary assessment tools

Document Type


Date of Original Version



The purpose of this chapter is to address epistemological and methodological approaches to assessing assessment. The authors' intent is to show how moving beyond paradigm wars and using multiple methods makes for good assessment. The authors explore ways qualitative and quantitative methods are complementary, as opposed to competing concepts, arguing that these methodologies in collaboration provide a much richer form of higher education assessment. The chapter begins with a review of the literature on qualitative, quantitative, and mixed method designs, which includes an overview of the history and contemporary landscape of the qualitative-quantitative debate. The chapter also highlights successful examples of mixed-method assessment at a mid-sized, private university, presented in general frameworks which can be used on any campus. The chapter concludes with recommendations for practitioners and future trends. © 2009, IGI Global.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

Handbook of Research on Assessment Technologies, Methods, and Applications in Higher Education