I have followed blogs, but have been advised that these are not the same as these online discussion forums (which tend to be text based discussions - someone posts the start of a discussion and then people can comment via threads) - so will now have to delve into the "unknown"
I suppose in some ways this is what happens in other educational courses in discussion forums, the difference being that only 'enrolled' students can participate and they are often 'shielded' behind a learning management system such as Blackboard or Moodle.
Once we have this forum we need to then join their email forum and also interview a member of the forum that we are looking at and obtain comments and ideas on how the forum might benefit from facilitation services - such as a coordinated event to help focus people around a particular issue, or the writing of a summary to close a thread in the forum.
Of course this brings me back to our discussion on facilitation, teaching and moderation.
We discussed the roles of each and how they may impact on each of the other roles. The group considered the role of the facilitator and came up with a list now posted on the course blog.