First, it is good Netiquette to participate in discussions. Next, do post in forums. So, we engage our class.
Discussion Netiquette Class
Hence, participation is key to the online learning process. Given, the professor is not present. Then, peer review.
Non verbal communication, body language and facial expressions give teacher feedback in physical classrooms. These are not present or muted by elearning.
Online discussions provide forums for students to teach each other through class participation. When a student knows something they can answer questions for other students in online discussions. They may understand the question better than a professor. Professors can moderate and regulate the discussion at any time for corrective reasons.
Participate in discussions because everyone learns.