The main difference between questionnaire and schedule is that questionnaires consist of a set of open-ended or close-ended questions, whereas schedules contain a set of structured questions that are directly asked by the interviewer.
Although questionnaires and schedules are used as data collection tools in research studies, there are slight differences between questionnaires and schedules.
Key Areas Covered
Questionnaire, Schedule, Data Collection
What is a Questionnaire
Questionnaires are used to gather information or data when conducting research. Questionnaires include different types of question forms that are related to respondents’ points of view: close-ended, open-ended, short form, long-form, etc. One of the important facts one should consider when forming questions for a questionnaire is that questions should always be unbiased. An effective questionnaire should also be simple and concise. Furthermore, a questionnaire should be specific to the topic and should consist of different types.
The use of questionnaires in research is considered a more feasible and efficient research method than in-depth interviews. There are many benefits of using questionnaires to gather data. Questionnaires save the time of respondents as well as the researcher. At the same time, the use of questionnaires allows the researcher to capture a larger audience, especially when compared to the use of in-depth interviews to gather data. Also, the researcher can print and distribute the questionnaires among respondents. Some researchers also distribute a soft copy of the questionnaires to the target audience.
What is a Schedule
A schedule is a research tool to gather information and design a research study. A schedule consists of a set of structured questions on a specific topic. The interviewer directly asks these questions personally. When the respondents face issues in understanding the questions in a schedule, they can seek help from the interviewer to sort them out. A schedule contains well-structured questions, and those questions are asked by the interviewer, or else the respondents should write the answers to the questions in the presence of the interviewer.
The questions in a schedule do not contain answer options; the respondents have to write or respond to the interviewer verbally. The data gathered in a schedule is qualitative. In a schedule, the order and the structure of the questions are significant, and the proper order of the questions cannot be changed. The use of a schedule is an expensive method to collect data because interviewers should be hired and trained for the purpose.
Similarities Between Questionnaire and Schedule
- Both questionnaires and schedules are data collection tools.
- Questionnaires and schedules consist of a set of questions to be asked from the respondents.
Differences Between Questionnaire and Schedule
A questionnaire is a structured data collection tool where choices may be given or may not be given, while a schedule consists of a set of structured questions on a particular topic that are directly asked by the interviewer.
Although a questionnaire may consist of open-ended questions and close-ended questions, questions in a schedule may not be composed of choices. The respondents must answer the questions in a schedule.
Questionnaires can cover a large audience easily, whereas schedules cover only a small set or small groups of people.
Although the use of questionnaires is cost-effective, the use of schedules in data collection is very expensive since the researcher should hire and train the interviewers on how to get the responses.
The respondents of a questionnaire can give their responses in the absence of the researcher, whereas in schedules, the respondents should provide their answers in the presence of the interviewer.
Although respondents are assisted by the interviewer in clarifying the questions in a schedule, the respondents are not assisted when answering questionnaires.
The main difference between questionnaire and schedule is that questionnaire consists of a set of open-ended or close-ended questions, whereas a schedule contains a set of structured questions that are directly asked by the interviewer.
1. Amaresan, Swetha. “28 Questionnaire Examples, Questions, & Templates to Survey Your Clients.” HubSpot Blog, HubSpot, 23 May 2022.
2. “Schedule.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 13 May 2022.
1. “Musculoskeletal survey Nordic questionnaire” By different – The Nordic questionnaire on ergonomic problems is Creative Commonds (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Women In Tech – 82” By WOCinTech Chat (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr