What is questionnaire?
A questionnaire is a research instrument comprising a series of questions and other prompts to gather information from respondents. The questionnaire is used as a tool to collect data for research and opinion collection.
Questionnaires can be open-ended or closed depending on the need for research or study.
The following are characteristics of a good questionnaire:
- The questionnaire should deal with important topics to create interest among respondents. As a questionnaire involved sending written questions to respondents and in some cases respondents answer it alone, then you need to structure your questionnaire in such a way that it arouses the interest of the respondents to answer the questions. Avoid including boring questions in your questionnaire such as those which cover petty issues this can lead to a lack of responses.
- It should seek only that data that can not be obtained from other sources. the questions included in your questionnaire should seek information that cannot be obtained from other sources such as observation or interview. This is important because many of the respondents are busy therefore to save their valuable time and obtain a quick response you need to keep your questionnaire short.
- It should be as short as possible but should be comprehensive.
- It should be attractive.
- Directions should be clear and complete.
- It should be represented in good Psychological order proceeding from general to more specific responses.
- Double negatives in questions should be avoided.
- Putting two questions in one question also should be avoided. Every question should seek to obtain only one specific information
- It should avoid annoying or embarrassing questions.
- It should be designed to collect information that can be used subsequently as data for analysis.
- It should consist of a written list of questions.
Purpose of the questionnaire
The purpose of the questionnaire is to gather information from widely scattered sources. It is mostly used in uses in cases where one can not readily see personally all of the people from whom he desires responses. It is also used where there is no particular reason to see the personality.
Types of questionnaire
The questionnaire can be of various types depending on how they are prepared. they can be classified as:
Structured v/s Non-Structured Questionnaire
The structured questionnaire contains definite, concrete, and directed questions, whereas a non-structured questionnaire is often used in interviews and guides. It may consist of partially completed questions.
Closed v/s Open Questionnaire
The questionnaire that calls for short check responses is known as restricted or closed-form type. For Example, they provide for marking a yes or no, a short response, or checking an item from a list of responses.
in this type of questionnaire the respondent is not free to write of his own opinion or answers, he has to select from the given option in the questionnaire.
On the other hand, in open-ended questionnaires, the respondent is free to respond in his own words. Many questionnaires include both close and open-type questions.
The researcher selects the type of questionnaire according to his need for the study.
I. Structured/closed Ended questionnaires
-Are questions which are accompanied by a list of all possible alternatives from which respondent select the answer that is best.
-The respondents are limited on answering the questions.
– They are easier to analyze
– They are easier to administer because each item is followed by an alternative answer
– Are more difficult to construct because categories must be well thought out
– Responses are limited; the respondent is required to answer the questions according to the researcher’s choice.
II. Unstructured/open –ended questionnaires
Are question where by the respondents are free to explain the answers – They permit respondent to respond in his/her words. The amount of space provided is however an indicator of whether a brief or long answers is required
– Allow a greater chance of responses
– Simple to formulate because a researcher does not have to come up with appropriate response categories. – Can stimulate a person to think about his/her feelings and to express what he/she consider most important.
– When the respondent is fire, he/she may give information which does not answer the concerned research questions.
– It is time consuming
Fact vs Opinion
In the case of fact questionnaire, the respondent is expected to give information of facts without any reference to his opinion or attitude about them.
in the case of an opinion questionnaire, the respondent gives the information about the facts with his own opinion and attitude.
ADVANTAGES OF QUESTIONNAIRES
– Researchers gets a lot of information from different respondent and from different area in the country.
– Omission of names makes the respondent to respond to the questions.
– Freedom to the respondents.
– It is well planned (structured).
– It is useful to distant respondent.
DISADVANTAGES OF QUESTIONNAIRES
– It time consuming
– It is selective in natural as it is limited to illiterate
– It may lead to ensure answers when questions need opinions or personal feelings
– Questions may be understood hence the respondents answer, the way they understood and provide wrong data.
– May got lost on transit.
– It is expensive to prepare
ROCEDURES CONSIDERED IN PREPARING QUESTIONNAIRES.
– Questions should be short and straight forward
– Question should be asked and should follow the order
– Question should be polite
– Question should be free from bias
– This is the type of questionnaires which involves mailing questions to the respondent.
– It can be through post mail
We hope that you have found this article useful. What do you think are characteristics of good questionnaire? Share your answer on the comment below