Dr Palitha Edirisingha

Associate Professor

School/Department: School of Education

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 3753



I joined the School of Education in September 2014. Previously I was a lecturer in E-Learning at the Institute of Learning Innovation (ILI) at Leicester. Prior to joining the University of Leicester I have worked as a Senior Research Fellow at Kingston University as a Research Fellow at The University of Surrey and as a Post Doctoral Research Fellow at the International Research Foundation for Open Learning in Cambridge. I have a long-standing teaching and research interests on learning technologies and distance education from developed and developing country perspectives and on international higher education. I am an editorial board member of the Journal Interactive Learning Environments.


Mar 2021 - Feb 2023: Online Learning And Adolescents' Well-being Amid Covid-19 Lockdown: A pilot project in China. A co-investigator of A British Academy-funded research project (Humanities and Social Sciences Tackling Global Challenges Programme).

Apr 2020 - on-going: Remote teaching and learning during Covid-19 pandemic. This research project, carried out with colleagues from China, explores how universities and schools in China were using online methods to support formal learning for their students during the early lockdown conditions.

2019 - on-going: Internationalisation of Higher Education in China: Perspectives from international students in China. This research explores how internationalisation is understood and experienced within universities in China. Collaborators: Dr Tinghe Jin, Durham University, and Paiwei Qin, University of Jyväskylä, Finland. 


Edirisingha, P. (2021) Editorial Introduction to the Special Issue "Online and Distance Learning during Lockdown Times: COVID-19 Stories-Series 1". Education Sciences, 11, 482.

Li, F., Jin, T., Edirisingha, P., and Zhang, X. (2021) School-Aged Students' Sustainable Online Learning Engagement during COVID-19: Community of Inquiry in a Chinese Secondary Education Context, Sustainability, 13(18), 10147;

Simmons, T., Edirisingha, P., and Jiang, M. (2021) Chinese students' use of digital resources for their learning in UK higher education, Global Research in Higher Education, 4 (2), 50 - 68, []

Muhammad, A., Edirisingha, P., Ali, R., and Shehzad, S. (2020) Teachers' Practices in Blended Learning Environment: Perception of Students at Secondary Education Level, Journal of Education and Educational Development, 7(2), 286 - 306.

Torres-Kompen, R., Edirisingha, P., Canaleta, X., Alsina, M., and Monguet, J.M. (2019) Personal Learning Environment based on Web 2.0 Services in Higher Education, Telematics and Informatics. 38, 194-206.

Edirisingha, P., Cane, C., Cane, R., and Jiang, M. (2018) Student-contributed podcasts to support transition to higher education, Journal of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education, 1 (1), 43 - 58.

Edirisingha, P., and Wood, P. (2018) From Evaluation to Sense Making: Emergent Development of a Masters Distance Learning Research Methods Module, European Journal of Open Distance and E-Learning. Special Issue of Best of EDEN 2016. ISSN 1027 5207. pp. 59-80.

Edirisingha, P., and Wood, P. (2017). Emergent Evaluation: An initial exploration of a formative framework for evaluating distance learning modules, European Journal of Open Distance and E-Learning.

Edirisingha, P., Salmon, G., and Nie, M. (2008). Developing pedagogical podcasts, in G. Salmon and P. Edirisingha (eds.). Podcasting for Learning in Universities, London: Open University Press and SRHE.

Salmon, G., and Edirisingha, P. (eds.) (2008). Podcasting for Learning in Universities, London: Open University Press and SRHE.


Current projects (as the first supervisor):

  1. Transnational and cross border higher education – a study in Qatar. Mary Lynn Renton.
  2. Investigating the barriers in educational technology in higher education in Saudi Arabia. Awatif Almutairi.
  3. The Flipped Classroom Learning Ecology, a heuristic model of Flipped LearningMatt Mobbs.

Previous projects (as the first supervisor):

    • Laurillard’s Conversational Framework in Developing the Critical Thinking Skills of Student Teachers of Mathematics in Saudi Arabia. Mona Alharbi.
    • Evaluating the use of online learning for English language teaching at the University of South Africa. Jack Chokwe.
    • Teachers’ attitudes towards the use of technological tools within the pre-school in Saudi Arabia. Sarah Alarfaj.
    • Technology Integration in Schools: A comparative Study of Public and Private School Systems in Pakistan. Muhammad Shahbaz Khan.
    • Travel without visas: teacher perception of a technology intervention in the Dadaab refugee camp. Rebecca Telford Mansour.
    • The Development of Digital Literacy in Adapting to the UK Learning Environment - A Learner Experience Study on Chinese International Postgraduate Students. Mengjie Jiang.
    • Impact of Flipped Classrooms Approach on Intrinsic Motivation to Learn on an EFL Writing Course at a University in Saudi Arabia. Iman Oraif.
    • Social Networking Website-Based Learning Activities to Develop Critical Thinking Skills among Undergraduate Students in Saudi Arabia. Nada Alsaleh.
    • Developing Readers’ Metacognitive Skills In The E-Learning Environment. Nathalie Caroline Auer.


    MA International Education - distance learning (Programme Lead)
    MA International Education - campus-based (Pathway Module Lead)
    Postgraduate Certificate in Learning Technologies (Programme Lead)
    International Postgraduate Certificate in Education (Programme Lead)

    Press and media

    Digital Learning

    International Education

    Distance Learning


    External Examiner - MA Education (International), Manchester Institute of Education, School of Environment, Education and Development, The University of Manchester.

    Editorial board member: Journal Interactive Learning Environments; and Journal of Studies and Research on Technological Education - EDUCITEC.

    Advisory Board member: USKT Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities

    Topical Advisory Panel: Educational Sciences

    Guest editor, Special issue of the journal Educational Sciences ("Online and Distance Learning during Lockdown Times: COVID-19 Stories"). (

    Guest editor, Special issue of the Journal of Studies and Research on Technological Education: Manaus, BR ("EDUCATIONAL CHALLENGES AND ADVANCES IN TIMES OF COVID-19") (

    Member of the conference committee: European conference on e-Learning (ECEL)


    Edirisingha, P. (2021) Digital Technologies to Support Science Education. Research Congress of the Postgraduate Institute of Science (RESCON) - 2021 (October 29-31, 2021), University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka (31 Dec 2021). 

    Edirisingha, P. (2021) Learning and Teaching using Immersive Digital Environments, A guest lecture for The annual Postgraduate Course "Heritage Education and Digital Technologies", Dept of Education and Humanities, Universita  di Modena e Reggio Emilia (08 Nov 2021).

    Edirisingha, P. (2021) The invisible digital divides: Stories from the West, International Seminar on Technology and Rural Education, 16 - 17 Jan 2021, UNESCO International Research and Training Centre for Rural Education, Beijing Normal University, China (16 - 17 Jan 2021)

    Jin, T., Qin, P., and Edirisingha, P. (2020) Experiencing and reflecting Chinese Higher Education (CHE): Interviews with international students in China, China and Higher Education Conference, The University of Manchester, 8 Dec 2020 (online). []

    Edirisingha, P. (2020) Developing 21st century skills through teaching online: opportunities and challenges, contribution for a one-hour webinar as part of EDEN webinar series: "Education in time of a pandemic #onlinetogether #covid19". (08 June 2020). 

    Edirisingha, P. (2019) Transactional Distance Theory as a framework for a qualitative evaluation of distance learner experience, ICERI2019 Proceedings (pp. 7319 - 7326). 12th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation, 11 - 13.11.2019. Seville, Spain.

    Windale, M., Daniels, T., Edirisingha, P.,  Montanchez Torres,  M., Martínez Suárez, P., Domínguez Crespo, C., and Cabrera Mejía, J. (2019) An international collaboration resulting in the use of problem-based learning to deliver community outreach solutions, ICERI2019 Proceedings (pp. 5288 - 5296). 12th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation, 11 - 13.11.2019. Seville, Spain.



    PhD in Educational Technology (Open University, UK)

    MEd in Education and Mass Media (The University of Manchester, UK)

    BSc in Agriculture (University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka)

    Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

    Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

    Back to top