How can a "community" feeling in an online course help one's students to stay motivated?
Students generally feel more motivated when they feel some connection to the other people in their class. They are more interested in "coming" to class. They are more interested in interacting with the other people. They generally feel better about the content of the class as a whole. Therefore, creating a community feeling can help to increase motivation. It can help students to feel more like a part of the class and less like a faceless person that no one cares about. When this happens, students will care more about the class.