Whether you want to launch any new product or service, diversify, or seek to develop some knowledge, you need thorough research with supportive data or information points.
Without this, one can’t extract the substantive outcome to help them decide. Research techniques are used by almost all industries, where some stand complex and some are easy.
Many research techniques provide the correct data basis mathematical equations but don’t fit the criteria of need as they are highly inclined towards statistics from the start.
Here come the Questionnaire and Schedule, research tools that help the person design the research or limit research to their interest area. But people often make mistakes while using them as they seem similar.
- A questionnaire is a set of written questions used to gather information from respondents, while a schedule is a timetable or agenda of activities or events.
- Questionnaires can be used for research, surveys, or evaluations, while schedules are used for planning, organizing, and tracking tasks or events.
- Questionnaires are more flexible and open-ended than schedules, which are more structured and specific.
Questionnaire vs Schedule
The difference between Questionnaire and Schedule is that a questionnaire is a structured form of research tool where a predefined list of questions with outcomes or answer choices from which the respondents can choose may or may not be included. The schedule is a set of structured questions on a specific topic that were asked directly by the investigator or interviewer personally.
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Respondents use their knowledge and experience to answer the questions in a questionnaire. It is used to collect information on a specific subject majorly from a set or group of people who belongs to the same category, i.e. age, sex, etc.
In the case of a schedule, if the respondent faces any difficulty understanding the question, the investigator or interviewer can help them further understand it.
|Parameter of Comparison||Questionnaire||Schedule|
|Definition||A questionnaire is a structured form of data collection method where a list of pre-defined questions are designed, mostly with their best possible answers or choices, from which the respondents need to choose, basis their experience and scope of knowledge. Many times choices are not included, and the respondent needs to answer on his/her own.||The schedule is a well-thought-of structured set of questions that were asked by the interviewer personally to the respondent, or the respondent needs to write answers to them in the presence of the interviewer or investigator.|
|Available Options||Alternate answer choices can be made available to choose from.||No alternate answer options are given to choose from; either respondent needs to write or respond to the interviewer.|
|Grouping||Grouping is made based on different categories, i.e. age, sex, location, etc.||The grouping may or may not exist.|
|Cover||Questionnaires can quickly cover large audiences.||A schedule is generally done where a small set or groups of people are involved.|
|Extension of Help||No help is extended; the respondent has to select from the given choices, no matter whether he/she understood the question or not.||Full help is extended to the respondent to understand the question so they can express their views or provide the correct answers.|
What is Questionnaire?
The questionnaire is one of the easy and best research or data collection tools to collect data in the minimum possible time efficiently. It is one of the cost-effective tools as well.
The questionnaire includes a structured set of questions on a specific topic or area of interest.
Here a respondent can be given alternatives to choose from or may be asked to give answers basis their knowledge capability.
Questionnaires are designed keeping in mind a specific category of the audience basis demographic structure, i.e. age, sex, location, language, etc.
It is a kind of push technique where an audience is presented with a concept or idea and asked to answer without knowing whether they can comprehend the same or not.
This method can only give positive results with accuracy if respondents are cooperative. However, it is difficult because the span of sample distribution is very high, but the results are not biased.
A questionnaire is sent by mail or post where some benefit is also offered in terms of a discount or gift coupon if the respondent reverts them.
The conversion percentage is significantly less here.
It is essential that a Questionnaire is designed with easy language and should be well-structured so that the target audience can fill it out without much effort because the researcher would not be physically present to clear their doubts.
Examples include customer satisfaction surveys, product reviews, service feedback, etc.
What is Schedule?
The schedule is one of the practical tools for data collection in any research or market study where success rate and accuracy are utmostly achieved.
In this, a set of questions is asked from the respondent with full assistance, i.e. if the respondent cannot understand the question, then the interviewer or investigator will help them understand the same.
In Schedule, no alternate choice option is available; a respondent needs to answer the question with his/her ability or knowledge, and the interviewer writes them.
The type of audience or respondents involved is purely based on the subject matter of the research.
Schedules are conducted to attain objectivity and facilitate detailed analysis with quality data points or information. It is a qualitative data collection method.
In Schedule, the order of questions, structure of the question set or parts and language plays a significant role and is in the proper order that can’t be jumbled.
It is an expensive method to collect data because the interviewer or investigators are hired, trained, and sent to the respondents’ places.
The schedule is a time-bound activity; thus always gets completed on time.
Whether respondents are literate or not, the interviewer will help them if they face any issues.
The success rate in Schedule is very high, and the data collected will be of paramount precision because data is collected personally by an interviewer.
Examples include population census records, voting surveys, etc.
Main Differences Between Questionnaire and Schedule
Although both are implausible methods of data collection with a great degree of authenticity and there is a significant difference between Questionnaire and Schedule, which are:
- The Questionnaire involves a set of questions with an option of alternatives or choices as an answer to choose from, whereas choices are not given in Schedules.
- In the questionnaire, respondents fill it by themselves, whereas the interviewer or investigator assists respondents with the Schedule.
- The physical presence of the investigator or invigilator is not required in the Questionnaire, whereas the physical presence of the interviewer is a must in the Schedule.
- The questionnaire is a cost-effective or low-cost data collection method, whereas the Schedule is expensive.
- The span of the audience or respondents on the Questionnaire is high, whereas the Schedule involves a small set of audiences.
- The response rate in the Questionnaire is very lower as people may or may not respond to the questionnaire mail. In contrast, the response rate in Schedule is very high because the interviewer is directly involved.
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Chara Yadav holds MBA in Finance. Her goal is to simplify finance-related topics. She has worked in finance for about 25 years. She has held multiple finance and banking classes for business schools and communities. Read more at her bio page.