Overall, I have enjoyed teaching this class online and believe it is beneficial for students. I have had students who are able to commute to campus two days less a week and students living everywhere from Portland to Toronto. Many students have near full-time jobs or sports that keep them busy and are happy to have an alternative way to be successful in their education.
One thing I have discovered is that redundancy is a necessity in an online course. Having the same information in multiple places and being very explicit is necessary to reduce confusion. Every document or file that is on Blackboard needs to have an explanation as to why it is there. What is obvious to instructors can confuse even the most well intentioned students.
One unexpected outcome was the lack of interaction on the discussion board. The discussion board was not a graded requirement but set up as a forum for students to ask questions and start dialogue. I was disappointed in how few students utilized this resource. In the future, I will begin the discussion each week on the discussion board and post questions in an effort to spur student discussion.