Difference Between Questionnaire and Schedule

Difference between questionnaire and schedule

Difference between questionnaire and schedule

In the realm of data collection, it is important to determine the difference between questionnaire and schedule.  Both tools are used for collecting information and each of them has its special features and importance.

A questionnaire is a data collection technique using a set of questions sent to respondents by hand, by post, or by email. It could be web-based, too. A respondent fills out the answers to the questions in the space provided for the questionnaire.

Schedule is a data collection technique containing a list of questions. However, the difference between a questionnaire and a schedule is that while respondents fill out the former, the researcher fills out the latter. The researcher goes to the informants with the schedule and asks them the questions. Researcher plays an essential role in the collection of data through schedules. They explain the aims and objectives of the research to the respondents and interpret the questions for them when required. The most common example of data collection through schedule is population census.

List of Difference between questionnaire and schedule

The questionnaire method does not allow direct personal interaction of enumerators with the respondents.The schedule allows direct personal interaction of enumerators with the respondents.
The questionnaire serves as a widely employed method for collecting data. It consists of numerous questions and each offers multiple choices for response.The schedule is also one of the data collection methods. It consists of statements, questions and space given to note down the answers.
Researchers prefer the questionnaire method of data collection when respondents are willing to cooperate. Furthermore, for this method to be effective, respondents must be literate.Researchers can employ the scheduled method of data collection regardless of the respondent’s literacy. This method is suitable for use with respondents of all literacy levels, be it literate or illiterate.
The technique used in the questionnaire method is Quantitative.The technique used in the schedule method is Qualitative.
In the Questionnaire method, researchers group respondents based on various categories such as location, age, and gender.Groupings may be present or absent in the scheduled method of data collection, depending on the research design.
After receiving questionnaires through email and postal mail, informants respond according to the guidance provided in the cover letter.In the scheduled data collection method, research workers/enumerators take responsibility for filling in the answers.
The questionnaire method does not involve direct personal contact between the respondents and the enumerators.The schedule method involves direct personal contact between the respondents and the enumerators.
The questionnaire method of data collection is a cost-effective choice when compared to using schedules. This holds true even when dealing with very large sample sizes. The majority of the expenses primarily arise from preparing the questionnaires.Collecting data through the Scheduled method can be quite costly. The reason for these expenses is the creation of the schedule, payment to enumerators, and their training.
The sender typically sends the questionnaire through mail to informants for them to answer as instructed in a cover letter, without providing additional assistance.The completion of the schedule is generally the responsibility of either the research worker or the enumerator, both of whom can provide clarification and interpretation as necessary.
Collecting data through a questionnaire is cost-effective, as expenses are limited to preparing and mailing the questionnaire to respondents. No field staff are needed for this method.Data collection through schedules tends to be more costly, as it involves significant expenses for hiring enumerators and providing them with training. Additionally, money is allocated for the preparation of the schedules themselves.
Non-response is generally very low in the case of questionnaires as many people do not respond and many return the questionnaire without answering all questions. Bias due to non-response often remains indeterminate. Non-response is generally very low in the case of schedules because these are filled by enumerators who can get answers to all questions. However, there remains the danger of interviewer bias and cheating.
In the case of the questionnaire, it is not always clear as to who replies.In the case of schedule, the identity of the respondent is known.
Slow progress is a common feature of the questionnaire method, largely due to the delayed responses of many respondents, even after receiving several reminders.Schedules result in the timely collection of information, as enumerators are responsible for filling them in.
With the questionnaire method, personal contact is typically not achievable because respondents receive questionnaires by mail and then send them back by mail.Schedules involve establishing direct personal contact with respondents.
A questionnaire helps to collect information from a large number of people in a standardized manner.A schedule aims to plan and organize activities within a specific timeframe to facilitate effective interaction with participants.

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Difference between questionnaire and schedule

Some additional difference between questionnaire and schedule

There are certain difference between questionnaire and schedule as given as follows:

1. Respondents actively participate in the process of filling out the questionnaire, while the researcher takes on the task of completing the schedule. The questionnaire is more rigid in structure than schedule.

2. Distributing the questionnaire to a large number of people simultaneously broadens its reach, whereas the schedule’s reach remains constrained.

3. The questionnaire technique protects the identities of respondents during data collection, whereas the scheduled technique reveals the identities of informants.

4. The success of the questionnaire depends much on the quality of the questionnaire while the research acumen and experience of the researcher determine the success of a schedule.

5. Questionnaires work best with literate respondents, whereas schedules accommodate both literate and illiterate informants.

6. Researchers have no control over the response rate in the case of questionnaires as many people do not respond and/or often return them without answering all the questions. On the contrary, researchers have control over the response rate of schedules since they collect data themselves.


Both Questionnaires and Schedules are used to collect data. These tools are useful for researchers to study, analyse and understand data so they can make conclusions. Nevertheless, there is a difference between questionnaire and schedule in the data collection methods. A questionnaire is a written set of questions that respondents fill out by themselves, while a schedule is a structured guide used by interviewers when they talk to respondents in person or on the phone.

Questionnaires and schedules have their difficulties when it comes to collecting data. Questionnaires can lead to mistakes because people might not understand the questions, while schedules can be influenced by biases and the person asking the questions. To overcome these challenges, it’s important to use strong methods like designing clear questionnaires and training interviewers. This way, we can make sure we gather trustworthy and valuable information.

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