Online Course Design Pitfall #5: Ignore the ways students learn from each other.
I try to avoid this pitfall by creating flexible assignments that focus on personalized learning outcomes rather than specific assignment instructions. For example, I create fairly open ended peer reviewed written (paper) assignments and ask students to be sure to demonstrate mastery of course concepts but from there to approach assignments in whatever way will befit them and other students the most. The focus should be on personal and professional growth and adding value to other students learning not getting it “right”. When I receive questions privately (unless it is personal) I ask students to post questions to the Module Q&A Discussion Board so that everyone has the same information. I then typically respond by asking students to do what they think their own and others’ learning the most.