Thinking more about the Long Tail post from a few weeks ago. It would be interesting to see if the 1% contributors online are also the most vocal contributors in the classroom. My initial belief is that the two groups are composed of different students, and different learning styles.
I was recently asked what I would do when faced with a student in my class who was quiet, reserved, and withdrawn from the rest of class. One of my ideas was to attempt to engage that student using a different medium. In my experience, students like this (shy/reserved) are more willing to discuss their thoughts in a more personal (private?) environment. Technology gives us the ability to create such a forum. In this way, the online setting is not targeting the same students who are dominating the classroom, but now intended to draw out the students who may appear on the fringe.