So the forum is more Q & A as they go through the course with the goal of either A) having the instructor give a little more feedback or B) other students can weigh in and give their ideas. It's a marketing course, so many of the questions have been "how does this strategy apply to this specific market segment?"
i.e., "I sell refrigerators, how does this strategy apply?" (great for our instructors or veteran students to answer)
... or it's technical questions that anyone with the right knowledge base & back ground in business & marketing can answer ("what email auto-reponder is best for my situation?")
This is a beta course, so all of our students are people who are already super familiar with our brand and most of them engaged without any encouragement because they already knew each other. 80% of the questions were technical issues and feedback about the course, but we're about to scale the crap out of it, so I'm wondering which direction to take it.
These beta students will have lifetime access to the forum platform, with the intent that they can jump in and join in conversations and help the newbies along. I figure a small percentage will do that - they love helping and establishing authority as knowledgable people.
I am also making it a point to get our instructors seriously involved in the forum (that was limited during our beta program) and having them take the initiative to make posts and encourage conversation. Right now it is 99% student-driven.
But for the next release of this course, I believe new students will only have access for the 10 weeks, so I am wondering if we should focus more on instructor Q&A and less on the member-to-member relationship building, since it is, by design, short-term.