Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

Dec 30, 2014


Image of Downes PrizeEvery year at this time I award the Downes Prize to the most-read post of those I've posted some time in the previous 365 days. This year that means any one of 1123 total posts from hundreds of authors around the world. The award is intended to be an objective measure, not based on popularity contests, campaigns, or any other such thing, but reflective of actual interest in the item on the part of OLDaily readers..

Without further ado,


This year's Downes Prize is awarded to:

Blended Synchronous Learning Handbook

Matt Bower, Gregor Kennedy, Barney Dalgarno, Mark J. W. Lee, Jacqueline Kenney, Aug 05, 2014


This text was a runaway winner this year. It's reflective of a trend in these awards over the years - while something might catch the popular interest and spike briefly, it is the deep and insightful text with lasting import that attracts enough attention over the course of the year. The current work was funded by the Australian Government Office for Learning and Teaching, has five authors from three universities, six case study contributors, and four more names in the Reference Group. There's a website with more information and resources from the last three years of the project.

"This Handbook," write the authors, "is the main output of the Blended Synchronous Learning Project. It includes a Blended Synchronous Learning Design Framework that offers pedagogical, technological and logistical recommendations for teachers attempting to design and implement blended synchronous learning lessons (see Chapter 14). The Handbook also includes a Rich-Media Synchronous Technology Capabilities Framework to support the selection of technologies for different types of learning activities (see Chapter 4), as well as a review of relevant literature, a summary of the Blended Synchronous Learning Scoping Study results, detailed reports of each of the seven case studies, and a cross case analysis."


Honourable Mentions:


Why lectures are dead (or soon will be), Tony Bates, online learning and distance education resources


Hack This Book: Announcing Open Music Theory, Kris Shaffer, Hybrid Pedagogy


Article at the Open Badges in Education workshop, Hans Põldoja,


Social Learning is Voluntary; Collaboration Platforms are Enablers, Sahana Chattopadhyay, ID and Other Reflections


Why can't you comment on this post? #indieweb, Ben Werdmuller


Old Literacies and the "New" Literacy Studies: Revisiting Reading and Writing, Norm Friesen


The MOOC Misstep and the Open Education Infrastructure, David Wiley


Does job success depend on data rather than your CV?, Matthew Wall


Are Laptops Really Bad For Learning? , Darren Kuropatwa, --I know this much is true.--


10 Trends to Personalize Learning in 2015, Barbara Bray, Personalize Learning


Previous Winners


In 2013, the Downes Prize was awarded to Tony Bates for Discussing design models for hybrid/blended learning and the impact on the campus


In 2012, the prize was awarded to Clayton R. Wright, for his series of posts annotating educational technology conferences.


In 2011, the prize was awarded to the Consortium for School Networking for  Acceptable Use Policies in Web 2.0 & Mobile Era.


In 2010, the prize was awarded to JISC for Effective Assessment in a Digital Age.


Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Dec 04, 2023 11:52 a.m.

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