Difference Between Questionnaire and Schedule – Questionnaire vs Schedule

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The major difference between Questionnaire and Schedule is that the former is a quantitative data collection tool for research, while the latter is a qualitative tool in which detailed answers can be written against each question or statement. Questionnaires and schedules are important to research work. They are data collection tools that help researchers analyze data and draw conclusions. However, there is a difference between Questionnaire and Schedule in the data collection methods you will learn in this article.

Difference Between Questionnaire and Schedule PDF

The research process starts with defining a problem status and a hypothesis and formalizing the research design. The next major step is data collection – researchers collect large samples for analysis. Questionnaires and schedules are two tools they use for this data collection work. Read this article thoroughly to know the key differences between Questionnaire and Schedule.

Difference Between Questionnaire and Schedule

Despite the difference between questionnaires and schedules, 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. To make it easy to understand the difference between a questionnaire and a schedule, let’s have a look at the following table.

Questionnaire vs Schedule

Difference Between Questionnaire and Schedule



Anyone can collect data using this tool.

An expert is needed to collect the data.

The questionnaire contains multiple-choice questions.

Schedule contains open-ended questions with a space to write the answers of respondents.

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.

A quantitative technique is utilized in the Questionnaire method.

A qualitative type of technique is used in the Schedule method.

In the Questionnaire process, the respondent’s identity is not acknowledged.

In the Schedule process, the respondent’s identity is acknowledged.

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.

Questionnaires can be used with a large population.

Schedules can be used mainly during one-on-one interaction between the interviewer and the respondent. Hence, it can be used with a small population.

Questionnaire and Schedule

Both Questionnaire and Schedule are the methods of data collection. Both are interconnected items with questions relating to a central situation. The questionnaire was first generated in London in 1838 and is 7 different types. A questionnaire is one of the quantitative data collection tools, while a schedule is one of the qualitative data collection tools. Read more about Questionnaire and Schedule meaning and examples below.

What is 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, or over the phone.

  • The questions in a questionnaire can be quantitative or qualitative.
  • We can consider the ‘number of people in your family’ as a quantitative question.
  • A question about ‘what you think of the government’ is open-ended, hence qualitative.
  • 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 standardization 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 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 standardize 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.


Key Difference Between Questionnaire and Schedule

A key difference between Questionnaire and Schedule is that a questionnaire can be sent via mail, newspapers, magazines, etc., as they do not require a personal connection between the respondent and the researcher. In contrast, an interview schedule is used while interacting with the respondent one-on-one.

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