Fig.1 What makes for a busy restaurant?
It's the difference between a busy restaurant and an empty one; a party you never want to leave because of the buzz and one that you wish you'd never gone to the trouble of turning up for.
Very rarely, sadly, there's been a bit of that buzz here, and twice in four years for a week or two in a student forum. Otherwise it hasn't or doesn't happen.
This is because 'social, collaborative and connected' learning isn't properly factored into the design of all OU courses - at least not until the last couple of years.
I'm sure the techniques and platforms used at FutureLearn will find there way over here - but not, I believe until the entire system on which the OU learning operates I believe. I think there is an inherent weakness in Drupal that will never permit the kind of interactivity that is no possible on other platforms.
Fixing this will be like unknitting the Bayeux tapestry and re-stitching it in silk without anyone noticing.
Now there's an IT challenge.