The questionnaire is a very popular format among qualitative approach theses. It consists of a selection of questions and answers that are used in the measurement of variables. It serves to register in a simple and practical way data of interest, that is why it is one of the most used measurement instruments in the degree works.
A questionnaire is organized based on the questions a researcher asks a representative sample of his or her study population. This is with the intention of finding out how a variable changes among the participants of a study. The researcher then analyzes the answers obtained, through statistical procedures. The results are tabulated in tables and graphs.
MODALITY OF THE QUESTIONNAIRE QUESTIONS
The questions can be of two types and the researcher will use them according to their needs and objectives
They are those that offer a specific response field, that is, that the variability is already delimited in a range of options. These limits are established by the investigator previously. Very common examples are the “YES” and “NO” questions; there are also the simple choice or multiple choice questionnaires. The latter, in the cases, that the researcher allows his respondents to choose more than one alternative per response.
Closed questions offer greater control by limiting the change of the variables that are intended to be measured. However, the investigator should consider all possible answers to a question. So, although it gives more control, it does not allow for exclusion.
These are questions that do not limit the response options of the respondent. With this type of questions, the variability is high and, therefore, more complex to measure. However, they are very useful when the researcher does not know or can not predict the alternatives of their questions.
Regardless of the type of question with which you decide to work, closed or open, both must meet the following characteristics:
– Clear and precise exposition, in a language understandable to the respondent. No redundancies or inaccuracies that hinder or impede understanding. They should be written with short and simple sentences.
– The questions should not intimidate or offend the participants, nor encourage the double meaning. Likewise, the questions must refer to a single variable. For example: Do you have an intelligent cell phone? Instead of Do you have an intelligent cell phone and a computer?
– Questions should not induce responses, either through assumptions or statements that predispose the respondent.
WHICH TO CHOOSE?
Closed questions are easier to analyze and tabulate. In addition, they are more practical to carry out, since they are simpler when presenting them to the participants. They require less time in their application and study. Their main disadvantage is that they limit the answers and run the risk of not giving exactly the opinion of the participant. For this reason, it is very important that the researcher knows in depth the problem to be studied. In this way, you can offer alternatives that fully represent the ideas of the respondents.
On the other hand, open questions give more extensive information and can provide deeper knowledge about the study problem. They serve to investigate causes and consequences, behaviors and motivations. By their nature they are more difficult to code than closed questions. Being more complex, they will require a more careful and experienced treatment.
The research problem will determine the type of methodology to be used and, consequently, the convenience of the questionnaire for the questionnaire. Similarly, the researcher should evaluate their experience with surveys, their objectives, the resources they have and the time they have available.