Looking for more information about building an effective online classroom? Consider this book: Rena M. Palloff and Keith Pratt, Building Online Learning Communities: Effective Strategies for the Virtual Classroom (San Francisco: John Wiley & Sons, 2007)
Is there a correlation between students' level of engagement with a Learning Management System, such as Moodle, and their grades? Yes, according to researchers. Griff Richards of Thompson Rivers University in British Columbia, Canada, engages this research and other ways to be aware of students' progress in courses with online components in his paper, Measuring Engagement: Learning Analytics in Online Learning. (Thanks to Moodle for bringing this to our attention).