Difference Between Questionnaire and Schedule

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : May 11, 2022, 12:18

Questionnaires and schedules are important to research work. They are data collection tools that help researchers analyse data and draw conclusions. However, there is a Difference Between Questionnaire and Schedule in the data collection methods.

The research process starts with defining a problem status and a hypothesis and formalising the research design. The next major step is data collection - researchers collect large data samples for analysis. Questionnaires and schedules are two tools they use for this.

What is a Questionnaire?

A questionnaire is a predefined interview style of questions shared with the respondents orally or in a written format. There is no fixed method for gathering the answers. Responses can be collected personally, remotely online, or over the phone.

The questions in a questionnaire can be quantitative or qualitative. We can consider the question of the number of people in your family as a quantitative question. A question asking you about what you think of the government is close-ended.

Collecting data through questionnaires is cost-effective and quick. Gathering a sizable sample of data efficiently is easy with a questionnaire. Processing the information gathered also is fairly simple. Questionnaires are efficient because they allow the standardisation of questions, making comparing answers easy.

The disadvantage of a questionnaire is the honesty of the respondents. Research conclusions are as reliable as their answers. The analysis becomes tricky if people choose not to answer certain questions or do not answer accurately.

What is a Schedule?

Like the questionnaire, a schedule is a data collection tool for research. Schedules are a list of questions that a data collector presents to the respondent in person. They also provide instructions on what to observe when answers are being shared.

Like questionnaires, schedules standardise the questions and make answers comparable. However, schedules involve the interviewer's observations in addition to the answers.

Schedules work best, with fewer respondents answering questions about a specific topic. An example of a schedule can be a child psychologist interviewing children on the impact of bullying.

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Difference Between Questionnaires and Schedules

To make it easy to understand the Difference Between Questionnaire and Schedules let’s have a look at this simple table:

Questionnaire

Schedule

Anyone can collect data

An expert is needed to collect the data

An inexpensive and efficient form of data collection

Expensive and relatively slower

Allows for various forms of data collection. It does not require personal contact with the respondents

Needs personal contact with the respondents as the data collected contains both respondents' answers and the interviewer's observations

Higher chance of collecting inaccurate answers

Less chance of inaccurate answers

There is usually no time limit for answering a questionnaire

Respondents of a schedule don’t have as much time as respondents of a questionnaire

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Despite the Differences Between Questionnaire and Schedule, they are powerful tools for data collection for research. The researcher's method depends on the objective of the research and the appropriate research design.

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FAQs on Difference Between Questionnaire and Schedule

Q.1. What is the Difference Between Questionnaire and Schedule regarding how data can be collected?

The Difference Between Questionnaire and Schedule in terms of how data can be collected is that data for a questionnaire can be collected either in person or remotely, whereas Data for a schedule needs to be collected in person

Q.2. What is the Difference Between Questionnaire and Schedule in terms of efficiency?

The Difference Between Questionnaire and Schedule in terms of efficiency is that Questionnaires are more efficient than schedules due to their structure

Q.3. What is the Difference Between Questionnaire and Schedule in terms of costs?

The Difference Between Questionnaire and Schedule in terms of costs is that Questionnaires are inexpensive, whereas Schedules are expensive because they have to be conducted in person and typically by someone who is a subject matter expert

Q.4. What is the Difference Between Questionnaire and Schedule regarding types of questions in the research design?

There is no Difference Between Questionnaire and Schedule in terms of types of questions. The two types of research data collected through questionnaires and schedules are qualitative and quantitative.