Much research and evaluation take place under conditions of complexity; yet, too often researchers and evaluators attempt to reduce, control, or simply ignore the effects of complexity rather than revisiting underlying assumptions and adapting their practices. During the past decade at the University of Alberta, Cheryl's collaborations with professional associations, community organizations, students, clinicians, teachers, and academics have examined a range of issues concerned with enhancing capacity for impactful research and evaluation across diverse contexts under conditions of varying complexity. Complex conditions require adaptive responses to changing circumstances. Working under these conditions is challenging because of the lack of predictable outcomes and established pathways for generating solutions. Her work integrates across the disciplines of education, psychology, and health sciences related to four areas of interests: qualitative research, mixed methods research, educational assessment, and program evaluation
Across her projects, she collaborates with graduate students, clinicians, teachers, and academics, implements qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods research designs, and disseminates research to participants, scholars, and practitioners using a variety of methods (e.g., papers, presentations, and websites). Importantly, her project findings contribute to developments in the fields of mixed method research, program evaluation, qualitative research, and assessment. She currently serves as associate editor of the Journal of Mixed Methods Research (JMMR)
and as President of the Mixed Methods International Research Association (MMIRA)
. Students are an integral part of her program of research. Their contributions are recognized in the many publications and presentations that include them in lead and co-author roles.