Questionnaire – Definition, Types, Examples



A questionnaire is a research instrument consisting of a series of questions and other prompts for the purpose of gathering information from respondents. The questionnaire is one of the most popular data collection methods in research.

Questionnaires can be used to collect both quantitative and qualitative data. They are often used to collect demographic information, opinions, and preferences. Questionnaires can be administered in person, by mail, by email, or online.

Types of Questionnaires

There are three types of Questionnaires:

  • Online Questionnaire
  • Telephone Questionnaire
  • In-House Questionnaire
  • Mail Questionnaire

Online Questionnaire

An online questionnaire is used to collect data from individuals over the internet. It is a type of Questionnaire that is administered electronically, typically through email or a web-based platform. They are less expensive to administer, allow for greater flexibility in terms of response format, and provide near-instant feedback to researchers. Online questionnaires can be easily shared and completed by participants from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.

Telephone Questionnaire

A telephone questionnaire is a research tool used to collect data from respondents over the phone. It is a convenient and cost-effective way to reach a large number of people in a short amount of time. Telephone questionnaires are typically used to collect data on attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. They can be used to gather information on a wide variety of topics. Researchers often use telephone questionnaires to study public opinion on issues such as politics, health care, and the economy.

In-House Questionnaire

An in-house questionnaire is a research tool used by organizations to gather data from employees. This type of questionnaire is usually anonymous and covers a wide range of topics, from job satisfaction to opinions on company policies.

In-house questionnaires can be an effective way to collect employee feedback, but they should be designed carefully to ensure that the questions are relevant and that the responses are anonymous. Otherwise, employees may be reluctant to participate or may provide inaccurate information.

Mail Questionnaire

A Mail Questionnaire is a research tool used to collect data from individuals through the use of a questionnaire that is sent through the mail. This type of questionnaire is often used when researchers are studying a large population or when they need to collect data from people who are not easily accessible. It allows researchers to reach a large number of people without having to travel. It is relatively inexpensive and does not require much time to administer.

Example of Questionnaire

The following is an example of a questionnaire that could be used to gather data about people’s attitudes towards recycling:

  1. How often do you recycle?
  2. What types of materials do you recycle?
  3. Why do you or why don’t you recycle?
  4. How easy is it for you to recycle?
  5. What could make recycling easier for you?

Characteristics of a good Questionnaire

A good questionnaire is one that is able to elicit the desired information from respondents with a minimum amount of error. To achieve this, a number of characteristics must be met.

  • Should be clear and concise.
  • The questions should be easy to understand and should not require any prior knowledge on the part of the respondent in order to answer them.
  • The questions should be as short as possible in order to avoid confusion and minimize the amount of time required to complete the questionnaire.
  • Should be structured in a logical manner.
  • The questions should be asked in such a way that allows for easy comparison and analysis of responses.
  • The questionnaires should be designed so that respondents are not required to provide information that they are not comfortable sharing.

When to use the Questionnaire

There are a few factors to consider when deciding whether or not to use a questionnaire.

The type of data you need.

Questionnaires are best suited for collecting quantitative data, such as opinions or preferences. If you need qualitative data, such as an in-depth understanding of someone’s experiences, then a questionnaire is not the best option.

Consider the size of your sample group.

If you need to collect data from a large number of people, then a questionnaire is an efficient way to do so. However, if your sample group is small, it might be better to use another research method that allows for more interaction with participants, such as interviews or focus groups.

Purpose of Questionnaire

The purpose of a questionnaire is to gather information from individuals about their opinions, beliefs, or experiences.

Questionnaires are often used in social science research to collect data from large numbers of people. They can be used to collect data from a population that is difficult to reach through other means, such as face-to-face interviews. Questionnaires are also less expensive and time-consuming than other methods of data collection, such as focus groups or in-depth interviews.

When designing a questionnaire, researchers must carefully consider the purpose of the study and the type of information that needs to be collected. The questions should be clear and concise, and respondents should be given enough time to answer each question thoughtfully.

Advantages of Questionnaire

There are some advantages of questionnaires that make it a popular choice for data collection. Some of these advantages include:

  • It is a relatively cheap and quick method of collecting data from a large number of people.
  • It is easy to administer and does not require trained personnel.
  • The questionnaire can be used to collect both qualitative and quantitative data.
  • It is a flexible tool that can be easily customized to suit the needs of the researcher.

Limitations of Questionnaire

Limitations of Questionnaire are:

  • They rely on respondents to provide accurate and honest answers. This can be a problem if the questionnaire is asking sensitive questions or if the respondent does not have a clear understanding of the question.
  • Questionnaires can only collect data on what respondents are willing and able to answer; there may be important information that the respondent is not comfortable sharing or does not think to mention.
  • Questionnaires are static instruments; they cannot adapt to changes in the respondent’s answers or probe for more information in real-time.

About the author

Muhammad Hassan

I am Muhammad Hassan, a Researcher, Academic Writer, Web Developer, and Android App Developer. I have worked in various industries and have gained a wealth of knowledge and experience. In my spare time, I enjoy writing blog posts and articles on a variety of Academic topics. I also like to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in the IT industry to share my knowledge with others through my writing.