There are different types of interviews and
questionnaires, In this artiele, interviews will be
investigated in terms of being structured or
unstructured. AIso questionnaires will be investigated
regarding its types which are 'selfadministered'
and 'mailed' questionnaires,
1.1. Definitions of Interviews and
Interview is a kind of conversation and as
Hull (l) tells us ".. .but of Particularkind, where
actors talk to a specific and conscious purpose."
Channel and Kahn (1968) defined interview as
"a two-person conversation initiated by the
interviewer for the specific purpose of obtaining
research-relevant information, and focused by
him on content specified by research objectives
of systematic description, prediction, or explanation"
[cited in (2): p.271].
At its simplest form, a questionnaire is no
more than a list of questions to which answers
are being sought. However, to assure that misunderstandings
or ambiguities in the questioning
are reduced to aminimum, and to enable data to
be compared across the members of a sample, a
number of different ways of presenting questions
have been developed (3).
When constructing questions for interviews
and questionnaires, Foddy (4) emphasizes that
the researcher must elearly define the topic of
each question, determine the applicability of the
question to each respondent, and specify the perspective
for responding to the question.
1.2. Types of Interviews
When we look at the structured interviews,
they can be the structured or unstructured.
The structured interviews are that a list of
questions is asked the answers recorded on a
standardized schedule. The content and procedures
are organized in advance for questioning.
The sequence and wording of the questions are
determined by means of a schedule and the
interviewer is not allowed to make any changes.
Fontana and Frey (5) emphasize that "There is
generally little room for variation in response
except where an infrequent open-ended question
mav be used". Also thev add "There is very little flexibility in the way questions are asked or
The unstructured interviews, contrary the
structured interview is an open situation and so
having greater flexibilityand freedom. Although
research questions determine the questions to be
asked, their content, sequence and wording are
entirely left to the interviewer. However, this
does not mean that the unstructured interview is
a more casual thing, and for in its own way it
must be carefully planned (2).
1.3. Types of Questionnaires
There are two different types of questionnaires,
namely the mail, and self administered
As its name implies that mail questionnaires
prepared questionnaire which are mail ed to the
respondents whose names and addresses
obtained regarding sample with co ver letter
explaining the purpose of the survey emphasising
how valuable the respondenfs completion of
the questionnaire. A self addressed and stamped
envelope for retums can also be included.
The self-administered questionnaire is presented
to the respondents by the researcher or by
someone in an official position such as schools'
headteachers. Holroyd and Harlen (9: p. 326)
say that "Headteachers distributed the questionnaires
to teachers of pupils. . ." The purpose of
the questionnaire is explained, and then the
respondents is left alone to complete the questionnaire,
which may be sent or collected later.
This method assures a high response rate, accurate
sampling, and minimum of bias, providing
necessary explanations and giying the benefit of
personal contact (6).
2. THE COMPARISON OF INTERVIEWS
Interviews cost more money than questionnaires.
Moser and Kalton (10: p.256) tell us."Without doubt, themail questionnaire is generally
cheaper than other methods" and they continue
by quoting from Selltiz et.al
"Questionnaires can be sent through the mail;
interviewers cannoL" There are traveling and
existence expenses to be occurred, as well as
payments to the interviews and interviewers.
Interviewers have to be organized and trained
which requires a field-work organization when
interviewers are distributed all over the country .
Granström (11: p.353) has found this factor as a
difficulty in his research and he indicates that
"About twice as many teacher applied, for
which reason selection was based on practical
factors, such as timetables and travelIina
expenses." As a result, he had to reduce the sample
In some cases, interviewers leave or quit the
survey. In this case the replacement of them presents
some difficulties and cost some extra
money. The interviewing of particular sample,
such as following of the graduates of a school
after five or ten years of graduation may be very
The main advantage of the mailed questionnaire
is its cheapness. Since it does not require a
trained staff or the field workers, the payments
to them and their travel expenses do not exisL
Furthermore, all it requires the cost of planning
and piloting, printing expenses, sampling, and
mailing, providing stamped, self-addressed
envelops for the retums. However, there is a
danger of low response rate in mail questionnaire
that it can make the survey expensive.
"...the response to a mail survey may be so low
that the cost per completed questionnaire is
higher than with an interview sample." (10:
p.257). Another advantage of the questionnaires
is that their data processing and analysis is
cheaper than that of interviews.
Content will be erased after question is completed.