An online course can often leave students feeling isolated from their classmates, and from the instructor. Forums can help to overcome this. They provide a way to encourage discussion among the students, and can give insight into the students' attitudes and feelings about the course.
You can encourage your students to use the forums by:
In the next chapter, we will cover blogs and wikis. We will learn about the mechanics of adding them to a course, using, and managing them. We will also discuss when they are appropriate and how to include them in the flow of a course.