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
2019/2020 4
Lecturer Email Office hours for students
Stefano Russo Jn. 18.00-19.00 (ASD Volponi - rofessors room); Fri. 8.00-9.00 (Raffaello College - Raffaello Hall)

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 some basic notions of what the science that goes by the name of Computer science and of how and with what effects it develops in favor of man and the sciences and spicological techniques. Students will have to acquire adequate knowledge and application skills of computer science in the disciplinary field of psychology with particular regard to the use of spreadsheets in order to understand which uses of these tools are most useful to answer questions from research in the field of psychology and to deal with data analysis in psychology. It is advised to have followed the course of "Research Methodology with Statistical Elements" (teaching taught 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 (4 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
  • - How to represent, process and analyze data with spreadsheets (16 hours)

  • Basic concepts of spreadsheet
    • Data entry
    • Data Formatting
    •  Formulas and functions
    • Cell references and formulas
    • Assign the name of the cells
    • Order and link data
    • Protect data
    • Print management of sheets and graphs
    • Coding with Excel (Macros)
  • Arrange the data of a social, educational and psychological research in a worksheet
  • Calculations and functions in Microsoft Excel (in particular logical and statistical functions)
  • Creating and printing graphs and diagrams
  • Search and select data from a list (filters)
  • Descriptive statistical analysis with Excel
  • File formats supported by Excel
  • Import and export of data
  • Recommended file format to import data in R
  • -  How to Import Psychology Research Data from Worksheet into PowerPoint (2 hours) 

    • Import the data of a psychology research from the worksheet into a PowerPoint presentation. 
    • Main Powerpoint functions

    -Online collaboration (2 hour)

    • Create spreadsheets with Google Docs and Microsoft Online
    • Store and share spreadsheets with Google Drive and Microsoft OneDrive

    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, the student must show possession of the:

  • Knowledge and understanding. At the end of the course the students will have to be able to understand and explain the fundamental concepts of computer science (of what the computer science deals with, the logic underlying the functioning of a computer, the algorithm and the software) and in particular which uses computer science can have in the disciplinary field of psychology.
  • Applying knowledge and understanding. At the end of the course students will have to demonstrate ability to apply knowledge on computer tools in the disciplinary field of psychology with particular reference to software tools (spreadsheet) for data analysis in psychology. Making judgments. At the end of the course the students will have to demonstrate the ability to use knowledge and concepts to reason with independent judgment according to the logic of the discipline.
  • Communication skills. At the end of the course the students will have to be able to present and discuss the topics studied with conceptual and linguistic precision, and to outline general frameworks that effectively and briefly illustrate the problems addressed.
  • Learning skills. At the end of the course the students must have achieved a certain familiarity with the basic concepts of computer science applied to the disciopolitical area of ??psychology so as to be able to acquire new knowledge autonomously by consulting the main bibliographic tools that deal with the discipline.
  • 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.  

    Didactics, 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.

    We recommend bringing a notebook to class.


    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).
  • As an alternative to point 1, lecture notes on Excel by the teacher published on the blended.uniurb.it platform

  • 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 votes are not awarded, but only the qualification of "suitable".

    The suitability test includes an oral-quiz to be held on the day of the exam and the sending by e-mail of a PowerPoint presentation ten days before the exam to the following address: themes.psicologiauniurb@gmail.com

    • QUIZ with questions (multiple choice) to be carried out on algorithms and spreadsheets in psychology. The test aims to verify the possession of the knowledge AND skills acquired. The time for the test is forty minutes. The QUIZ will be passed by answering exactly 75% of the questions.
    • PowerPoint presentation on psychology research. The trace of the research and data analysis required for the presentation is reported 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: 16/05/2020


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