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Questionnaire: Common Research Instrument Used in Various Studies


In writing a research study, one of the most important things to consider is the questionnaire. A questionnaire is the main instrument used in gathering data of the study. Usually, researchers encounter difficulty in finding a questionnaire that suits the study at hand. So, this paper is primarily created for guiding a researcher on how to come up with an instrument that fits the study.

The questionnaire refers to a set of standardized questions, often called items. It follows a fixed scheme to collect each data about one or more sub-topics. It governs by the wordings and order of questions in the instrument. Usually, it administers in a standardized fashion to all respondents of the study. This invented by the Statistical Society of London in 1838.

Furthermore, a questionnaire is a well-known and widely used research instrument for quick and efficient gathering and analyzing data from a population under study. Its main purpose is to extract data from the respondents. It is an effective means of measuring the behaviors, attitudes, preferences, opinions, and intentions of relatively large numbers of respondents cheaply and quickly. Moreover, it is an efficient way of collecting a large amount of data even when the researcher is not present to collect those responses. For the past years, researchers use this in every context imaginable such as health, industrial relations, construction, transport planning, rural development, and many more. Therefore, a questionnaire is a research instrument consisting of a series of questions for gathering information from the respondents.

Additionally, a questionnaire defined as a set of printed or written questions with options. It devises for a survey or statistical study. When conducting a survey, the list of questions called questionnaire. Moreover, a questionnaire is a type of instrument used for experimental works. It is attributed to a ruler used for measurement.

In addition to that, a questionnaire is classified as both quantitative and qualitative methods of research depending on the nature of the questions. The analysis of the answers from open-ended questions with options is a course through quantitative methods of research and they involve discussions and critical analyses with the use of numbers and calculations. The analysis of the answers from open-ended questions without options is a course through qualitative methods of research and they involve discussions and critical analyses without the use of numbers and calculations.

Using a questionnaire in a research study has its advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of using questionnaire include: (1) inexpensive way of collecting data; (2) generates a large amount of data; (3) easy-to-understand and easy-to-respond; (4) responses are easily quantified and used to compare other research; (5) easy to analyze the results of a questionnaire; (6) the qualitative and quantitative data collected from a questionnaire helps the surveyor to create new strategies and learn about the trends in the audience; (7) it often let its respondents support their anonymity; and (8) it is not always necessary to have a personal touch while getting the responses from the respondents. The disadvantages of the questionnaire include: (1) respondents are sometimes dishonest while answering the questions, (2) when it comes to open-end questions, it becomes difficult to understand and interpret the responses; (3) it is not a perfect tool to know about the feelings and emotions of the respondents; and (4) lack of personalization deactivates the respondents and many do not even respond to it. Every researcher must consider these things in order for them to balance everything so that the negative side of using questionnaires be avoided.

The researchers need to become knowledgeable in using the questionnaire. They also need to have the means to confirm the responses of the respondents in order for them to have an assurance that accurate information and data reflected in the instrument. If these things happened, there is a guarantee that the results of the study are valid and reliable. The findings of the study reflect the real situation in the field. So, higher authorities and educational planners may consider the results in order for them to come up with various programs, projects, and activities that are beneficial towards the teachers, the learners, and the reports that they are submitting in the higher-ups. By considering all these things, someday, our educational system will bloom and prosper because of the real results obtained from using a research questionnaire.