When designing a questionnaire, you may be faced with the question whether you need to design a qualitative or quantitative questionnaire. If you are confused, read on to know the difference between qualitative and quantitative questionnaires that will help you in making the right choice.
Quantitative research generates numeric information or data which you can convert into numbers. On the other hand, qualitative research generates non-numeric information or data. Let us discuss make a point to point comparison between the two research questionnaire forms.
Aim or Goal of the Research
The main goal of qualitative research is providing a detailed and complete description of the research topic. It is typically more exploratory in nature. On the other hand, quantitative research lays stress on classifying and counting features and construction statistical figures and models for explaining what is observed.
Qualitative research is typically subjective in approach as it is used for understanding human behavior and the factors that govern these behaviors. In quantitative research, researchers remain objective and separated from the subject matter. This is due to the fact that quantitative research is objective in approach in the way that it only looks for concrete analysis and measurements of target concepts for answering the questions.
In the qualitative research, the presentation of data is in the form of images, objects or words. When you conduct a qualitative research, you typically deal with figures in the form of graphs. But while conducting quantitative research, you will use tables which contain data in the form of statistics and numbers.
Data Gathering Instrument
In qualitative research, the researcher or their associates form the main data gathering instrument. Here, the researcher may employ different data gathering strategies, which depends on the approach or thrust of their research. Some of the examples of data gathering strategies utilized in qualitative research including narratives, archival research, participant observation, documentary analysis, content analysis, focus groups, structured interviews, non-structured interviews, individual in-depth interviews etc. Quantitative research, on the other hand, utilizes tools like measurements, surveys, questionnaires and different other equipment for collection measurable or numeric data.
Qualitative research is perfect for earlier research phases. For the latter part of your research, quantitative research is ideal. Through quantitative research you can get a clearer picture of what to expect from your research.
You can effectively use the aforementioned information to decide whether to use qualitative or quantitative form of questionnaire or even both!