Questionnaire Vs. Interview

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Questionnaire vs. Interview

Questionnaire vs. Interview

There are many advantages that have been identified in the use of the survey method. According to Babbie (2001) ? these advantages include: 1) one can collect a large amount of data in a fairly short time; 2) surveys are easier and less expensive than other forms of data collection; 3) surveys can be used to research almost any aspect of human perceptions regarding the variables under study; 4) they can be easily used in field settings. In this paper¸ the two broad categories of survey research (quantitative survey (questionnaire) and qualitative survey (interview)) will be discussed (Pamela L. Alreck and Robert B. Settle., 1987).

Questionnaire Method

Questionnaires are a useful research tool when a large samples or even a population need to be surveyed. This is because each person is asked to respond to the same set of questions? this provides an efficient way of collecting responses from a large sample. Other advantages of questionnaires are that they require less skill and sensitivity to administer than interviews and they reduce the possibility of interviewer bias (Smith¸ J.K.¸ 1983).

The survey instrument consists of different format of questions (Open? Closed? Dichotomous and Multiple choice questions). Open format questions are those that ask for unprompted opinions. In other words? there is no predetermined set of responses? and the participant is free to answer however he chooses. Open format questions are good for soliciting subjective data or when the range of responses is not tightly defined. An obvious advantage is that the variety of responses should be wider and more truly reflect the opinions of the respondents. This increases the likelihood of receiving unexpected and insightful suggestions? for it is impossible to predict the full range of opinion. It is common for a questionnaire to end with and open format question asking the respondent for ideas for changes or improvements. This type of questionnaire provides qualitative data. Closed questions? which are also known as fixed response? force the respondent to choose one or more responses from a number of possible replies provided in the question. These types of questions provide quantitative data. There are two broad groups of closed questions they are dichotomous and multiple choice. Dichotomous questions allow only two possible answers? for example? yes/no? true/false etc. This is the simplest of all closed questions. Finally? multiple choice questions present a list of possible responses from which the ...
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