Questionnaires are usually administered on paper, in a structured or semi-structured format. Respondents often choose from among a set of forced-choice, or provided, responses. These can include yes/no or scaled responses. Questionnaires can be administered in person, by mail, over the phone, or via email/Internet.
The questionnaire in the form of a set of questions is sent by mail to the persons from whom information is to be collected. They, in their turn, are expected to answer the questions and also to supply additional information and comments, where, necessary and mail them back to the investigator Great care is to be taken while preparing a questionnaire. Skill of the experience under enquiry is needed in drafting a questionnaire. Though there are no hard and fast rules for designing a questionnaire, there are a few general points which should be borne in mind.
– The questions put should be clear, concise and unambiguous.
– Delicate questions are to be put with great care. Often indirect questions should be put to get answers to some pertinent point. It is sometimes desirable to avoid very delicate questions.
– The size of the questionnaire or schedule should be as small as possible. It saves time, both for the enumerator and the respondent. A large questionnaire is likely to exhaust the patience of the respondent.
– There should be a natural, logical order in which questions are arranged.