Research Methods: Developing your research design

Eira Patterson | View as single page | Feedback/Impact


Triangulation involves the use of two or more different approaches within your research and this can improve both the validity and reliability of the data being collected. There are several types of triangulation and the three forms commonly used in education research are summarised below (Denzin, 1970 cited in Cohen, et al., 2011):

  1. Methodological triangulation is the most commonly used and possibly provides the most benefits. There are two forms that methodological triangulation can take:
  • ‘between methods triangulation’, involves the use of different methods to investigate the research questions and provides a means of checking validity;
  • ‘within methods triangulation’ involves repeating the study at two or more different times and provides a check on reliability and the appropriateness of the theoretical constructs underpinning the research.
  1. Place triangulation involves carrying out the same study in different contexts e.g. two or more schools.
  2. Investigator triangulation requires different researchers to collect or scrutinise the data e.g. two different researchers may carry out observations at the same time or analyse the same video evidence.