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Upstate faculty member develops app for those who want to learn and use mixed methods research

An app that offers expert consultations to those who want to learn and use mixed methods research has been designed and developed by Upstate Medical University’s Shuhong Luo, EdD, MSN, RN. Mixed methods research design is an innovative research methodology for health science (including nursing science), social science, and behavioral sciences. The app, titled “Mixed Methods Research Design,” is available in app stores, free for Android devices and available for $.99 for Apple devices.

Luo is assistant professor in Upstate’s College of Nursing. She designed and developed the app with John W. Creswell, PhD, founder and world-renowned scholar in mixed methods, co-director of the Mixed Methods Research and Scholarship Program and professor of family medicine at the University of Michigan.

Luo and Creswell describe their process of designing and developing the app in the article, “Designing and developing an app for a mixed methods research design approach,” published in International Journal of Design for Learning, 7(3), 62-71 in 2016.

Using the mixed methods design, researchers collect two forms of data: quantitative (statistical trends) and qualitative (personal stories, experiences, and perspectives).

“The researcher combines, merges, connects, or integrates the strengths of the two data sets for data interpretation,” said Luo. “The interpretations from mixed methods usually provide larger overall pictures of a phenomena with more values than the use of single quantitative or qualitative research approach alone, helping the researcher to understand the phenomena comprehensively and to gain new insights into it.”

Luo’s research interests include implementing technologies, such as mobile apps, in health care. She says that she is collaborating with Ann Botash, MD, director of the Child Abuse Referral and Evaluation Program (CARE) at Upstate, to design and develop a mobile app to help providers make the right decisions when ordering the accurate exam and test for suspected sexually assaulted or abused children or adolescents. She says that she is also helping Upstate’s Emergency Medicine Department to develop and validate a new fall risk assessment tool for triage nurses.

As an educator, Luo encourages nursing students to become more innovative in technologies design, development, and implementation. Luo also designed and developed a 12-step technology training protocol following a simplified experiential learning model that addressed the core features of meaningful learning: to connect new knowledge with students’ prior knowledge and real-world workflow when they learn new software. The protocol can be used not only for new software training, but also in any new procedural or performance training. The work was published in the 2017 Nursing Forum, 1, 1-8.

More information about Luo’s initiatives will be featured in the upcoming issue of Upstate’s Nursing In Touch newsletter.

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