Definition: A Questionnaire is a structured form, either written or printed, consists of a formalized set of questions designed to collect information on some subject or subjects from one or more respondents. In other words, a data collection technique wherein the respondents are asked to give answers to the series of questions, written or verbal, about a pertinent topic is called as a questionnaire.
Typically, a questionnaire is one of the data collection techniques that includes:
- Fieldwork procedures such as instructions for approaching, selecting and asking questions from the respondents.
- Gifts or rewards or payments offered to the respondents.
- Communication Aids, Viz. Pictures, advertisements, maps, products, etc.
The questionnaires possess three specific objectives, these are:
- The information needed must be translated into a set of questions that can be answered by the respondents. Constructing the right type of questions that yields the desired information from the respondents is quite difficult. Thus, this objective is a challenge for the researcher.
- It must be designed in such a manner that respondents are uplifted, encouraged and motivated to get involved in the interview and fill in the complete details. Since the incomplete questionnaire reduces the usefulness of the research. A researcher, while designing the questionnaire must strive to reduce respondent boredom, fatigue, non-response and incompleteness.
- The questionnaire must strive to minimize the response error. The response error is an error arising out of wrong information given by the respondent or the answers being wrongly recorded or analyzed.
Thus, the purpose of a questionnaire is to convert the information needed into a formalised set of questions and present these to one or more respondents to collect the desired responses and then finally interpret and analyse the data being collected.