Thanks for talking about the challenging of social learning. As you mentioned, technical competency for teachers and students is essential to make online courses to be successful. It is obvious technological tools are a kind of bridge to set communication between teachers and students so that the needed skills should be had by participant in social learning via technology.
For your first question, I think it is more difficult to make students motivated in online course than students in face to face classroom. Teacher may use different teaching style to make courses more attractive. For example, in R685 we have been participated in different activities to learn the topics, and I think various activities can be integrated into social learning.