Università degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo / Portale Web di Ateneo


Algorith, coding and the use of spreadsheets for processing and analyzing data in psychology
Algoritmi, coding e uso dei fogli elettronici per l’elaborazione e l’analisi dei dati in psicologia

A.Y. Credits
2018/2019 4
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Stefano Russo Jn. 18.00-19.00 (ASD Volponi - Professors room); Fri. 8.00-9.00 (Collegio Raffaello - Sala Raffaello)

Assigned to the Degree Course

Psychology - Sciences and Techniques (L-24)
Date Time Classroom / Location
Date Time Classroom / Location

Learning Objectives

The computer skills course aims above all to give students all the knowledge of computer science they need to get their own clear and sufficiently thorough idea (even if on some technical details approximate) of what the science goes by under the name computer science (Computer science) and how and with what effects it develops in favor of man and the spicological sciences and techniques. Students will have to acquire adequate knowledge and application skills of information technology in the field of psychology with particular regard to the use of spreadsheets in order to understand which uses of these tools are most useful for answering questions of research in psychology and to address data analysis in psychology. It is recommended to have followed first the course of "Research methodology with elements of statistics" (instruction given in the first semester).


The course is divided into two parts: theory (basic concepts of computer science) and practice (this part aims to teach information technology skills). The topics will be addressed in the order they are listed in the program.

Basic concepts of computer science (6 hours)

  • The computer: nature, denomination and functions
  • The computer performer general of algorithms
  •  What is an algorithm?
  •  From the algorithm to the computer program: introduction to coding
  •  Intelligent machines and artificial intelligence

- How to represent, process and analyze data with spreadsheets (16 hours)

  • Basic concepts of spreadsheet
  • Data entry
  • Data Formatting
  •  Formulas and functions
  • References (relative, absolute and mixed) and formulas
  • Assign the name of the cells
  • Order and link data
  • Import data in Excel
  • Protect data
  • Calculations and functions in Microsoft Excel
  • Search functions and reference (VLLOOKUP, HLOOKUP)
  • Logical Functions (IF, AND, OR, NOT)
  • Creation of graphs and diagrams
  • Data analysis in Microsoft Excel
  • Filters
  •  Subtotals
  •  Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts
  •  Print management of sheets and graphs
  • File formats supported by Excel
  • Import and export of data
  • Recommended file format to import data in R
  • How to import data from the spreadsheet into PowerPoint
  • -Online collaboration (1 hour)

    • Groupware

    -Find and retrieve information from the world wide web (1 hour)

    • The search tools on the web
    • Search engines

    Bridging Courses

    No specific prerequisites are needed. We still need a basic familiarity with the computer (use of keyboard, monitor and mouse, opening and closing of the working session, etc.)

    Learning Achievements (Dublin Descriptors)

    In relation to the teaching of computer science students must demonstrate possession of:

  • Knowledge and understanding (knowledge and under standing). After the course students should be able to understand and explain the basic concepts of information technology.
  • Ability to apply knowledge and understanding (applying knowledge and understanding). After the course students should be able to discuss and evaluate various claims and arguments in the field of computer science  and to use this knowledge competently.
  • Making judgments (Making judgments). After the course students should be able to demonstrate the ability to use knowledge and concepts to reason with independent judgment according to the logic of the discipline.
  • Communication skills (communication skills). After the course students should be able to explain and discuss the relevant topics with conceptual and linguistic exactness, and to offer efficacious  and synthetic accounts of the subject matter.
  • Learning skills (learning skills). After the course students should be acquainted the computer science and the computer to be able to proceed on their own  in gathering further knowledge from the literature in the field and in contiguous fields.
  • Teaching Material

    The teaching material prepared by the lecturer in addition to recommended textbooks (such as for instance slides, lecture notes, exercises, bibliography) and communications from the lecturer specific to the course can be found inside the Moodle platform › blended.uniurb.it

    Supporting Activities

    Any supplementary lessons and / or seminars.  

    Teaching, Attendance, Course Books and Assessment


    Lectures, practical demonstrations on the use of spreadsheets with the aid of multimedia tools (PC and videoprojector), structured exercises on the use of spreadsheets in psychology.


    Attendance is recommended as it is a course based on the practical use of spreadsheets in psycholog The presence of students will be recorded, to which, each week, an exercise will be assigned to be presented to the teacher the following week.

    Course books

    -On the basic concepts see the teaching materials provided by the docednte available on the Uniurb blended learning platform and the chapters 1 (pp.5-20) e 2 (pp. 21-36) of the text "Informatica di base" byi M. Mezzini, Maggioli Editore, 2016.

    - For the topic how to represent, process and analyze data with spreadsheets:

    • Alberto Clerici (a cura di), Manuale di informatica per l'economia, Egea, Milano, 2014. Cap. 4 (da pagg. 91-117), cap. 5 (da pagg. 127-137 e 141-143) e cap.6 (da pagg. 161-181 e 208-215).
    • Chiara Marabelli - Valentina Piroli - Semira Taglabue (a cura di), Psicologia ed Excel, EDUCatt Università Cattolica, 2010. Ebook available online.

    - For the topic Online collaboration, Alberto Clerici (a cura di), Manuale di informatica per l'economia, Egea, Milano, 2014. Cap.8

    - For the topic Find and retrieve information from the world wide web, Alberto Clerici (a cura di), Manuale di informatica per l'economia, Egea, Milano, 2014. Cap. 2, §§ 2.2 e 2.3.

    For an in-depth analysis on algorithms and coding, "Problemi, algoritmi e coding" di P. Crescenzi ee L. Pagli, Zanichelli, Bologna, 2017.Capp. 1-2-5 (only pp.143-150). Optional reading:pp. 151-187.


    The exam consists of a suitability test. This means that no grades are assigned, but only the qualification of "eligible".

    The suitability test consists of;

  • Written test through exercises to be performed on algorithms and spreadsheets in psychology. The test aims to ensure the possession of the acquired skills. The time for the test is thirty minutes.The written test will be passed by answering exactly 75% of the questions.
  • Elaborate written (theme) to be sent by e-mail to the teacher one week before the examination for the coorection. The study will have to choose a track for the theme among those published on the blended learning platform. The elaborated essay must strictly respect the editorial indications provided on the blended learning platform.
  • Additional Information for Non-Attending Students


    Individual study on texts and reported specific materials.

    Autonomous exercises on the topics of the application part available on the blended learnig platform.


    No obligation.

    Course books

    In addition to the same texts indicated for frequentant students, reading the text is recommended:

    - Mauro Mezzini, Informatica di Base, Apogeo (Maggioli Editore), 2016. 


    Same manner as for the attending students.


    For non-attending students it is recommended to practice  the examples proposed in to course books.

    « back Last update: 03/06/2019


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