The 'Creating Passionate Users' blog may be well worth a read if you're interested in thinking of ways to inspire your students.
This post called "Building a successful online community" looks at way that forums on the Web, similar to discussion areas on WebCT are managed. This may be of some interest to you if you are running a WebCT course where discussion is being used to a major extent.
In case you are not very nerdy and find it confusing, 'Slashdot' (aka /.) and 'Javaranch' are web sites/online communities where people discuss computer programming issues.