Help Center/Assessment Lab/Selecting a Method

Quantitative vs. Qualitative Measures

Kim Y-E
posted this on October 05, 2012 09:03 AM


Both measures can produce data/information that can be presented in number or narrative form. So at this point, your decision should be made on the depth of the information that you need.

  • Quantitative Methods - produce data that shares facts or figures
    • Looks at questions that concern who, what, where, when
    • Matches with outcomes about knowledge and comprehension (define, classify, recall, recognize)
    • Examples of quantitative methods: survey, existing data, rubric (if assigning #’s), tracking system, observation, document analysis, KPI
  • Qualitative Methods - produce data with more depth and description
    • Looks at questions that concern why and/or how
    • Matches with outcomes about application, analysis, synthesis, evaluation
    • Examples of qualitative methods: focus group/interview, portfolio, rubric (if descriptive), visual methods, one-minute assessment, open-ended survey question, observation, document analysis, case study
  • Mixed Methods- assessment is not always completed with just one method
    • For example, a social responsibility outcome such as “student articulates the unfair, unjust, or uncivil behavior of other individuals or groups,” might best be assessed through interview or focus group and through rating a role play exercise on a rubric.