1. How do you plan to design your online course to encourage free flow ideas and requests for clarification--discussion forums, email, chatrooms, team activities, other?
I generally make use the discussion boards for clarification. I also generally set up a specific discussion board for clarification, and I will also set up one for general topics or off topics. I call it the Student Union or Watercooler. I generally let the students handle the topics in there and let it be "their space." I use synchronous chat for office hours. I have it open at certain times and students can come in and ask questions as needed. I use Facebook for the same thing.
2. What thoughts do you have about timing access to different components of the lesson(s)--one-time dump, progressive access, access tied to specific assignments, allow students to work ahead or go back to catch up, other?
I've done both, and it generally depends on the content. Some content lends itself to work-at-your-own-pace, and some doesn't.
So there you have it. Nothing earth-shattering, but my opinions nonetheless. I'm actually kind of bummed about how this course is going. Not a whole lot of discussion going on, and everyone is waiting until the last minute to post and that makes it difficult for anyone to respond.
Yeah, you know what I'm talking about . . .