Dissertation writing seems easy when you collect all the relevant data necessary to solve a scientific query. Data collection is the lengthiest part of research that involves gathering and measuring information on the identified variables. It pools a study with raw data, so a researcher can analyse or interpret it properly. It enables researchers to answer the pre-defined research questions, test the formulated hypothesis, and evaluate outcomes.
There are a number of challenges that researchers often face while collecting data for research purposes, such as limited time, inability to collect data from a whole population, and geographical constraints to collect data. Keeping in mind these data collection challenges, this article will discuss an amazing tool, Schedule data collection. This article will also discuss its different types and the importance of using a schedule for data collection.
A schedule is an instrument that helps researchers to collect data from participants while conducting interviews. It contains statements, questions, tables, and blank spaces for recording respondents’ views. It allows interviewers to present a schedule containing questions relevant to an area of interest. The interviewer can simply add a list of questions for data collection without making any effort to make it attractive. Concisely, the schedule is a set of questions on a topic that a researcher formulates to collect information from the sample population. If you are unable to work on the schedule, you can hire a dissertation writing service UK.
Difference between questionnaires and surveys:
The majority of novice researcher considers the questionnaire and schedule data collection more or less similar. Indeed, they are similar by sharing many common features, but they have a number of distinguishing factors as well.
However, the key difference between them is that researchers commonly send a questionnaire to participants through the mail; however, researchers use the schedule to ask questions from respondents and fill the blank spaces on their own. The majority of the time, researchers hire enumerators to collect data.
Types of Schedule:
Before selecting to schedule data collection for research and dissertation, being a student, you must also have complete information about its types as well. The following are some types of schedules:
- Rating Schedule: It is a type of data collection that you can use to obtain opinions and preferences. It includes statements exploring both positive as well as negative types of reviews relevant to a phenomenon from respondents.
- Documents Schedule: These schedules help us find the data from recorded evidence and case histories. It can include blanks exploring functional issues and relevant formats to collect data relevant to history.
- Survey Schedule: Survey schedule resembles typical questionnaires. It can be open or fixed-ended, such as other types of surveys.
- Observation Schedule: This type of schedule is useful for research that aims to select the observational method to study a phenomenon. Scheduling data collection gives flexibility to researchers as it allows them to make both structured and unstructured schedules for data collection. This type of data collection can be applied to only those studies that include communication with participants.
Steps for forming a schedule:
Whenever we talk about a specific tool, it becomes important to discuss steps to use it as well. Thus, the following are some important steps that you can follow to make and use a schedule for effective data collection:
- Study a problem from different aspects
- Divide a problem into different parts to develop a better understanding
- Be careful about the types of the questions listed in a schedule (they must not irritate the reader)
- Use ‘serialization’ techniques to appropriately organise questions
- Use section heads to differentiate questions asking about different variables involved in a study
- Include different forms of questions in schedules (open-ended, close-ended, multiple-choice, pictorial, and blanks)
Importance of schedule in research:
Schedule data collection techniques are very important and have a number of advantages.
- Researchers actively participate in this type of data collection, so it improves their own understanding of the emotional state and stances of informers to judge potential chances of biasness.
- The number of non-responses is very low in data collection by using a schedule. The presence of researchers at the time of data collection increases the participants’ trust in a research process that, in turn, increases the participant’s response rate.
- It gives an opportunity to researchers so that they can share every thick and thin related to research with the participant. Thus, data collection through schedule helps in getting informed consent from researchers.
- Other methods of data collection work well when the researcher aims to collect data from the literate and cooperative members of the society. However, the schedule data collection method is important even for studies that aim to collect data from less-educated participants.
- You can use a schedule for primary and secondary data collection, such as surveys, observation, case studies, and reporting.
Limitations of schedule data collection method:
One side of the picture represents a number of benefits of using a schedule for the collection of data for research. However, the other side represents a few limitations as well.
- For conducting research using the schedule data collection method, it is difficult to collect data from a large population. Thus, the generalisation of a study can easily be challenged in this method.
- Hiring an enumerator or giving proper training to them can be time-consuming. It usually takes more time to complete as compared to data collected by questionnaires and surveys.
Data collection is the most critical as well as lengthy phase of academic research. If a researcher uses biased or dishonest means to collect data for research, no matter how much effort the research does to complete research, it will not be considered valid and reliable. So this article has provided all the necessary information that a student must know before selecting a schedule as a data collection technique. Hopefully, knowing the types of schedules and their importance along with limitations can help you conduct research by collecting data through schedules.