University of Craiova

Contact person:  Elvira Popescu 

popescu_elvira [at]

is Associate Professor at the Computers and Information Technology Department, University of Craiova, Romania. Her research interests include technology enhanced learning, adaptation and personalization in Web-based systems, learner modeling, Web 2.0 and social learning environments, intelligent and distributed computing. She had authored and co-authored more than 60 publications, including a book, journal articles, book chapters and conference papers. She received several scholarships and awards, including two best paper distinctions. She is an executive board member of the International Association of Smart Learning Environments, as well as a member of the International Observatory on Smart City Learning. She participated in more than 10 national and international projects, having an extensive experience of collaboration in multi-disciplinary and cross-cultural research teams.

She is also actively involved in the research community by co-organizing an international workshop in the area of social and personal computing for e-learning (SPeL 2008-2015), guest editing two journal special issues in the same area and co-editing five Springer proceedings volumes (LNCS vol. 8613, 8390, 7697, 7558 & 7048). She serves as member of three journal editorial boards (IJLT, IJISSC, IxD&A), conference chair (for ICSLE 2015 & ICWL 2012), PC chair (for ICWL 2014 & ICWL 2011), track chair (for APTeL@ICALT2015 & APTeL@ICALT2014), PC member for more than 70 conferences and workshops, and OC member for more than 10 conferences.



Description of the smart city learning group operating in the affiliated institution


The TEL research group at the Computers and Information Technology Department focuses mainly on adaptive and personalized learning, learner modeling, Web 2.0 and social learning environments and learning analytics. Its members are currently involved in two research grants on 'Web 2.0 technologies and tools for collaborative learning' and 'Data mining techniques used in intelligent e-learning systems'.





Key competences include the design and development of adaptive learning techniques, learner modeling mechanisms and educational data mining algorithms. The group also has expertise in computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) and the use of social media in educational contexts. Practical experience with project-based learning is also demonstrated. 



Relevant achievements, best practices, products


Two main educational platform prototypes have been developed in the context of prior research grants:


WELSA (Web-based Educational system with Learning Style Adaptation).

Its main pedagogical goal is to provide an educational experience that best suits the learning style of each student. ULSM (Unified Learning Style Model) is used, which is actually a collection of learning preferences extracted from the main learning style models proposed in the literature. Regarding the method used for the identification of the students' preferences, an implicit approach was chosen, based on the analysis of the students' interactions with the system. As far as the adaptation technologies are concerned, WELSA makes use of both adaptive presentation and adaptive navigation support technologies, providing the student with an individualized path through the learning material.


eMUSE (empowering MashUps for Social E-learning).

The social learning environment integrates seven popular Web 2.0 tools (Blogger, MediaWiki, Delicious, Twitter, YouTube, Picasa, SlideShare) and also provides value-added services for both students and teachers: learner tracking functionality, monitoring and visualization features, grading and evaluation support. 



On going challenges


The current challenge consists in the extension of the developed tools and methodologies for the smart city learning area. We are also interested in introducing young learners to programming in playful ways, in smart city contexts; this will be realized in the framework of an ongoing Erasmus+ strategic partnership for school education.



Relevant publications


• Elvira Popescu

'Providing Collaborative Learning Support with Social Media in an Integrated Environment'

World Wide Web, Springer, vol. 17 (2), pp. 199-212, 2014. 


• Elvira Popescu, Florin Leon

'Analyzing the Influence of Learning Styles on Students' Behavior in a Social Learning Environment'

Annals of the University of Craiova, Automation, Computers, Electronics and Mechatronics Series, Vol. 11 (38), No. 1, pp. 29-38, 2014.


• Elvira Popescu

'Using Wikis to Support Project-Based Learning: A Case Study'

Proceedings ICALT 2014, IEEE Computer Society Press, pp. 305-309, 2014.


• Elvira Popescu, Cristian Maria, Anca Loredana Udristoiu

'Fostering Collaborative Learning with Wikis: Extending MediaWiki with Educational Features'

Proceedings ICWL 2014, LNCS, Vol. 8613, pp. 22-31, Springer, 2014.


• Elvira Popescu, Florin Emilian Buse

'Supporting Students to Find Relevant Learning Resources through Social Bookmarking and Recommendations'

Proceedings ICSTCC 2014, pp. 464-469, 2014


• Elvira Popescu

'Social learning environments'

Sitech Press, Craiova, 2013.


• Elvira Popescu, Dorian Ghita

'Using Social Networking Services to Support Learning'

Proceedings ICWL 2013, LNCS, Vol. 8167, pp. 184-193, Springer, 2013.


• Elvira Popescu

'Integrating Individual Differences in Adaptive Educational Systems: The Unified Learning Style Model Case'

Qun Jin (Ed.): Intelligent Learning Systems and Advancements in Computer-Aided Instruction: Emerging Studies, Information Science Reference, pp. 94-118, 2012. 


• Elvira Popescu, Costin Badica

'Creating a Personalized Artificial Intelligence Course: WELSA Case Study'

International Journal of Information Systems and Social Change, Vol. 2(1), IGI Global, pp. 31-47, 2011. 


• Elvira Popescu

'Adaptation Provisioning with respect to Learning Styles in a Web-Based Educational System: An Experimental Study'

Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, Vol. 26(4), Wiley, pp. 243-257, 2010.