A questionnaire is a form prepared and distributed to secure responses to certain questions. It is a device for securing answers to questions by using a form that the respondent fills by himself. It is a systematic compilation of questions that are submitted to a sampling of the population from which information is desired.
The questionnaire relies on written information supplied directly by people in response to questions. The information from questionnaires tends to fall into two broad categories ‘facts’ and ‘opinions’. It is worth stressing that, in practice, questionnaires are very likely to include questions about both facts and opinions.
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
- Closed v/s Open
- Fact v/s Opinion
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.
Fact and 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. But in the case of an opinion questionnaire, the respondent gives the information about the facts with his own opinion and attitude.