This is an example of how you can use the Ning blogs in your mini-course.
The participants in your course would have to be members of thing MSUNER Ning (msuner.org). You also need to be 'Friends' with them on the site. The easiest way to do this is to search for them by name, then click the 'Add as a Friend' link under their name.
Within your mini-course, you can then publish blogs like this that are only visible to your friends. In the Privacy & Comments section be sure to select 'Just my friends' for 'Who can view this post?' and 'Who can comment on this post?' and your course participants will be able to see and comment on your blog posts. This is a great option for continuing the dialog outside your workshop.