188.8.131.52 Schedules sent through Enumerators
Yet another method of collecting information is that of sending schedules through the enumerators or interviewers. The enumerators contact the informants, get replies to the questions contained in a schedule and fill them in their own handwriting in the questionnaire form. The essential difference between the mailed questionnaire method and this method is that the questionnaire is sent to the informants by post in the former, in the latter the enumerators carry the schedule personally to the informants. The method is free from most of the Limitations of the mailed questionnaire method.
Merits. The main advantages of the method are:
1. It can be adopted in those cases where informants are illiterate.
2. There can be very little chance for non-response as the enumerators go personally to obtain the information.
3. The information received is more reliable as the accuracy of statements can be checked by supplementary questions wherever necessary.
Limitations. 1. Among various methods of collecting primary data, this method is quite costly as enumerators are generally paid persons.
2. The success of the method depends largely upon the training imparted to the enumerators.
3. Skilled interviewing requires experience and training, but there is a tendency for statisticians to neglect this extremely important part of the data collecting process. Without good interviewing most of the information collected is of doubtful value.
4. The way in which the enumerators conduct the interview would affect the data collected. When questions are asked by a number of different interviewers, it is possible that variations in the personalities of the interviewers will cause variation in the answers obtained. This variation will not be obvious. Hence every effort must be made to remove as much of variation as possible due to different interviewers.
Suitability . This method is quite popularly used in practice. The main reason for this is a very high rate of response because of the personal contact of the enumerators.