Other than me signing my discussion forum posts as "Dr. Malcolm", some students don't recognize me as the instructor in my online course. This is not all students but in online courses, some students minimally interact with their instructor and some don't pay a lot of attention to weekly video notes or other attempts to connect with them. It would be nice if there was something obvious that would signal to students that their instructor is interacting with them in discussion forum posts. Additionally, in a longer discussion post thread, it might be helpful for students to be able to zero in on the instructor feedback rather than it being lost in a sea of posts. In other discussion forum apps, it is much easier to identify instructor posts.
We should be mindful as a community that sometimes graduate students are TAs in lab courses so we should avoid suggestions of making Dr. or Prof the main identifier. Perhaps a different color box around our posts or a circle that says INSTRUCTOR around our profile image? This would be quite helpful as participating in discussion threads is different than leaving comments when grading.