Questionnaire

Method of Questionnaire

A questionnaire contains a sequence of questions relevant to the study arranged in a logical order. Preparing a questionnaire is a very interesting and a challenging job and requires good experience and skill.
  • Questionnaire is as an instrument for research, which consists of a list of questions, along with the choice of answers, printed or typed in a sequence on a form used for acquiring specific information from the respondents.
  • In general, questionnaires are delivered to the persons concerned either by post or mail, requesting them to answer the questions and return it.
  • Informants are expected to read and understand the questions and reply in the space provided in the questionnaire itself.
  • The questionnaire is prepared in such a way that it translates the required information into a series of questions, that informants can and will answer.

The general guidelines for a good questionnaire:

  • The wording must be clear and relevant to the study
  • Ability of the respondents to answer the questions to be considered
  • Avoid jargons (technical language)
  • Ask only the necessary questions so that the questionnaire may not be lengthy
  • Arrange the questions in a logical order
  • Questions which hurt the feelings of the respondents should be avoided
  • Calculations are to be avoided
  • It must be accompanied by the covering letter stating the purpose of the survey and guaranteeing the confidentiality of the information provided
There are two ways of collecting data by questionnaire:
 1. By post            2. By enumerators

Questionnaire through Mail or Post

An important method for the collection of data used for large area is that of questionnaires. In this method, a list of questions is prepared relating to the problem under investigation, is printed and then sent out to the respondents through post. It is requested that it may be returned to the investigator properly filled up. A covering letter is also sent with the questionnaire. A stamped self-addressed envelope is also attached.

Merits:

  1. There is uniformity in the data because informants are directly involved.
  2. There is the economy of time, labor and wealth.
  3. This method is used if the field of inquiry is wide.

Demerits:

  1. There are chances of non-response due to indifference of attitude.
  2. Supplementary questions cannot be asked as questions are fixed.
  3. If questionnaire is tough, it may not be responded.
  4. Information can be collected from the educated persons only.
  5. Its response is uncertain.

Suitability:

  1. When The area of coverage is very wide.
  2. When the informant is educated.

Precautions:

  1. It should be accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope to ensure reply.
  2. Questions should not be personal, as informant will not want to answer.
  3. A request letter must be attached.
  4. Questions should be in a good sequence.

Questionnaire by Enumerators

In this method, list of questions or schedules are sent to the informants through the enumerators. They read the questions to the informants and record their answers on the same schedules. At first, enumerator explains the aims and objectives of the enquiry and asks them for co-operation.
The difference between the mailed questionnaire method and this method is that in the former case the informants themselves record the answers while in this case, the enumerators record the information. This method is used by governments and research institutions like National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), Federation of Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (FICCI) etc.

Merits:

  1. There are fewer chances of non-responses as enumerator’s visits personally.
  2. It covers wide area.
  3. Information can be got even from uneducated persons.
  4. It is unaffected by the personal bias of the investigators.
  5. This information is more reliable and correct.

Demerits:

  1. It is costly because enumerators have to be paid.
  2. It is time consuming as every informant is visited.
  3. It requires trained enumerators, which are not easily available.
  4. The personal bias of enumerator may lead to wrong conclusions.
  5. It can only be used by big organizations.

Suitability:

  1. When area to be covered is wide.
  2. When no extra question is needed to be asked.
  3. When service of enumerators is cheap and easily available.

Precautions:

  1. Enumerators should be trained.
  2. He should be educated to the required subject.
  3. He may belong to same locality or culture.
  4. He should not be biased.

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