When using questionnaires, response structuring and coding is possible. This makes it time-convenient for both the researcher and the respondent. On the same note, issuance of questionnaires can employ representative samples. In other words, the researcher can easily choose research samples during questionnaire issuance. In addition, questionnaires allow respondents time to consider and subsequently answer questions. This improves the quality of provided answers because respondents have enough time to think and reflect about questions. Most importantly, questionnaires offer an inexpensive data collection method suitable for covering large geographical areas (Mitchell & Jolley, 2012).
Amid the above-highlighted advantages, use of questionnaires has a number of shortcomings. The researcher could obtain socially desirable answers to some questions outlined in the questionnaire (Cargan, 2007). In other words, respondents could provide answers that are influenced by social desires. This leads to a scenario where the researcher captures biased responses. Another key disadvantage of questionnaires is that they do not explain reasons behind the provided responses. In addition, response rate is uncertain as far as questionnaires are concerned.
A semi-structured practice in research encompasses the identification of the major themes that best address the study topic. In the context of semi-structured questionnaires, the researcher identifies the main aspects of data collection that best defines the interests of the research. What follows is the actual data collection, where the respondents face no restriction in regards to their answers. Contrary to questionnaires, a semi-structured approach to data collection allows respondents the independence to explore issues that are not necessarily part of what is provided to them.
A semi-structure is advantageous because it allows respondents to express their experiences. The absence of