When I had my students (grade 8) reflect on the research project, each having an individual thread in a discussion forum in our class Moodle, I was really focusing on having them think more deeply about the process. But what I discovered was that it also connected us more tightly - teacher and students.
In the f2f classroom, I see 20 or 25 faces; I can talk to each of them during a class period, but it has to be fast, and there are always interruptions. Online, responding to their reflections, I get to talk to each one, thinking about what each student needs right now. And each one gets what they really want: undivided personal attention. That sibling-like jockeying for teacher attention drops away. Wow.
Serendipity strikes again.