Questionnaire (& structured interview)
A method of data collection in which each person is asked to respond to the same set of questions in a predetermined order. It therefore includes both face-to-face and telephone questionnaires as well as those in which the questions are answered without an interviewer being present, such as paper and online questionnaires. It is most frequently used to answer ‘what’, ‘who’, ‘where’, ‘how much’ and ‘how many’ questions. It allows the collection of standardised data from a sizeable population in a highly economical way, allowing easy comparison. The collected quantitative data can be analysed using statistical methods, used to suggest possible reasons for particular relationships between variables and to produce models of these relationships. Questionnaires can be on paper, online, or as structured interviews (Saunders et al., 2016). It is advisable to conduct semi-structured interviews prior to designing and conducting a questionnaire, to devise the set of meaningful questions for the questionnaire and ensure that the questions are interpreted the same way by all respondents.