What Is "Schedule" and "Questionnaire" in Research Methodology
Schedule in Research Methodology
A schedule is a structure of a set of questions on a given topic which are asked by the interviewer or investigator personally. The order of questions, the language of the questions and the arrangement of parts of the schedule are not changed. However, the investigator can explain the questions if the respondent faces any difficulty. It contains direct questions as well as questions in tabular form.
Schedule include open-ended questions and close-ended questions. Open-ended questions allow the respondent considerable freedom in answering. However, questions are answered in details. Close-ended questions have to be answered by the respondent by choosing an answer from the set of answers given under a question just by ticking.
Following are the different types of schedules used by social scientists and anthropologists.
- Village or community schedule: It is used by census researchers who collect general information on populations, occupations, etc.
- Family or Household schedule: It gives full demographic details of households, the status of individuals, data on education, age, family relations, etc.
- Opinion or attitude schedule: To schedule the views of the population regarding an issue.
Questionnaire in Research Methodology
A questionnaire refers to a device for securing answers to questions by using a form which the respondent fills in by himself. It consists of some questions printed or typed in a definite order. These forms are actually mailed to the respondent who was expected to read and understand the questions and reply to them by writing the relevant answers in the spaces provided. Ideally, speaking respondent must answer to a verbal stimulus and give a written or verbal response. It is totally devoid of any table. Its purpose is to collect information from the respondents who are scattered over a vast area.
Questionnaires include open-ended questions and close-ended questions. Open-ended questions allow the respondent considerable freedom in answering. However, questions are answered in details. Close-ended questions have to be answered by the respondent by choosing an answer from the set of answers given under a question just by ticking.
Following are the different types of Questionnaire used by social scientists and anthropologists.
- Structured questionnaire: It includes definite, concrete and pre-obtained questions which were prepared in advance.
- Closed-form questionnaire: It is used when categorized data is required.
- Pictorial questionnaire: It is used to promote interest in answering after seeing the pictures on a particular theme.
- Unstructured questionnaire: Designed to obtained viewpoints, opinions, attitudes and to show relationships and interconnections between data which might escape notice under more mechanical types of interrogations.
A schedule, however, takes more time as compared to a questionnaire. A questionnaire has less data collecting ability than a schedule. A questionnaire can cover a very wide field of data whereas a schedule is a problem-oriented data collecting method. A questionnaire takes for itself and is self-explanatory, whereas schedule has to be explained by the investigator.
Similarities between Schedule and Questionnaire
- Both are set of related items having questions relating to a central problems.
- Both use mainly structured questions and these questions are so phased and interlocked that they have a built in mechanism for testing the reliability and validity of the response.
- In both the same set of questions is administered to all the respondents and comparable results are obtained.
- Both these instruments has to be used with the same general principles of designs and have to take into account the same problems and basic difficulties they have to be limited in lend.
- In both, the central problem has to be concentrated upon the following considerations involved in the problem of evolving the questionnaire and a schedule as a unit. 1.Drawing the responding into a situation through awake and interest. 2.Proceeding from simple to complex questions. 3.No early and sudden request for information of a personal and embracing intimate nature. 4.Not asking embarrassing questions without giving the respondent an opportunity to explain himself. 5.Moving smoothly from one item to another.
- In both certain types of questions have to be eliminated such as vague and ambiguous questions, emotionally changed questions, loaded and leading questions, questions eliciting no response and questions having structured response to the queries, violence to the existing facts.
- In both pilot studies and pre-tests are necessary for formulating the instrument and for bringing them to the final form. They have to go through the same stages of development.