Our current cohort of students for Collaborative Inquiry - 801 - Spring 2021 - is a bit smaller at only 12 students. This makes the use of the discussion forums even more important for students to gain the full benefits of a distance format course.
During the Module 1 assignments, I noted that there was not as much interaction as I wanted to see and so 'encouraged' (deducted points from) many of the students to participate beyond the minimal requirements of the assignment.
See the results in the Module 2 assignment - Technology Montage:
This encouragement may not have contributed to the increase, but then again ...