Questionnaires and schedules are the data collection tools that help researchers gather data. There are a lot of differences and similarities between questionnaires and schedules, which you should know about. The questionnaire consists of open-ended and close-ended questions. On the other hand, a schedule consists of a set of questions, statements and blank spaces given by the interview and filled by the respondents. Both are data collection tools that help researchers gather rich and diversified data. This article will tell you the differences and similarities between a questionnaire and a schedule.
What Is A Questionnaire?
A questionnaire is a data collection tool consisting of a list of questions. Questions are usually close-ended and open-ended. Close-ended questions have multiple-choice options that respondents have to choose based on their understanding. Open-ended questions require short or long answers depending upon the question type. The respondents can reply to the questions as they see fit. Researchers usually make the questionnaire forms on Google. They send the forms via email or social media. Questionnaires are cost-effective and cover a large audience easily. Individual researchers can do it easily either on their own or by hiring a dissertation writing service.
Respondents can submit their answers and fill out the forms without the researcher’s supervision. Respondents have to respond to the questions based on their understanding and knowledge. Questionnaires can be qualitative and quantitative or based on a mixed-methods approach. The purpose of questionnaires is to collect information from the sample population. It is a popular data collection technique among researchers and business analysts. Business analysts distribute questionnaires to the target audience to comprehend consumer patterns and assess a particular product’s popularity.
What Is A Schedule?
A schedule consists of a set of questions, statements and blank spaces filled by the respondents with the help of research enumerators. Enumerators are those people who assist the researchers in data collection. They supervise the data collection from the respondents. Enumerators visit people and ask them questions from the schedule in the specified order. They play the role of interviews. They ask questions from the respondents and note them down.
Researchers can also send the schedule directly to the respondents. The enumerators assist the respondents in filling out the information. Unlike questionnaires in which the respondents fill out the information independently, a schedule takes help from enumerators to facilitate the data collection process. Enumerators play an important role in data collection through schedules. They inform the respondents about the research’s aims and objectives. Enumerators also help respondents understand the research questions.
What Are The Differences Between A Questionnaire And Schedule?
Questionnaires and schedules are data collection tools, but there are key differences between both. Following are the differences between a questionnaire and a schedule:
- A questionnaire is a data collection tool consisting of a set of written questions with multiple options for answers. The schedule is a series of questions, statements, and places for answers that enumerators use to ask questions from respondents and record their responses.
- Researchers send the questionnaires to the respondents via post or email. On the other hand, for schedules, researchers assign enumerators to assist the respondents in filling out the information.
- The primary difference between a questionnaire and a schedule is the response rate. Respondents usually do not fill out the information correctly and leave out some questions. There are several reasons, such as lack of time or confusion about the questions. Furthermore, one of the primary issues with questionnaires is that researchers cannot supervise every questionnaire. On the other hand, a schedule involves enumerators who facilitate the data collection process. They get in touch with the respondents and individually supervise each respondent. Enumerators can explain the research aims and objectives to the respondents. They also help respondents interpret the research questions. Consequently, the response rate of a schedule is higher than a questionnaire. Researchers gather rich and complete data through schedules as compared to questionnaires.
- Another primary difference between a questionnaire and a schedule concerns the scope and reach of both methods. Researchers can distribute the questionnaires to as many people as they want, and even the respondents who live far away can be approached via email or social media. On the other hand, the scope and reach of a schedule are limited. Researchers cannot send enumerators to faraway places and cannot cater to a large audience.
- One of the significant differences between a questionnaire and a schedule concerns the expenses. A questionnaire is comparatively a cheaper data collection method than a schedule. It only requires formulating questions on Google forms and sending them out via post or email. On the other hand, a schedule requires appointing and training the enumerators for data collection. A schedule is an expensive data collection method than a questionnaire.
- Respondents remain anonymous in the questionnaire method, whereas in a schedule, the enumerator knows about the identity of the respondents. It raises ethical concerns.
- One of the fundamental differences between a questionnaire and a schedule is the quality of responses. An enumerator can influence the data collection process, and the data might be biased.
- Researchers can use questionnaires for data collection when the audience is literate. On the other hand, researchers can collect data from uneducated classes, because enumerators help respondents fill out the information.
Similarities Between A Questionnaire And Schedule
A questionnaire and schedule are data collection tools used by researchers to collect data for a research problem or hypothesis.
- Usually, both methods use structured questions.
- Both methods have appropriate mechanisms for the validity and reliability of data.
- Both methods involve questions that proceed from simple to complex
- Both methods phase out questions in a sequenced order
- Both methods entail clear and straightforward questions
- In both data collection methods, researchers have to be cautious about leading and provocative questions
- Both methods involve pre-testing and pilot checks
A questionnaire and schedule are the data collection tools that researchers use to collect data. The primary difference between both them is the variation in cost. Questionnaires are comparatively cheaper than schedules. Schedules require enumerators whose outreach is not as broad as a questionnaire. Both methods involve specifying clear and direct questions that revolve around a central issue. You might also like to read about the best tips for choosing an online learning platform.