There's a tension, I think. On the one hand, anonymity seems to encourage more interaction. But, on the other hand, with such a dramatic increase in interaction, the temporal constraints of the classroom setting still demand some sort of gatekeeper.
I think there is some (hopefully small) danger that anonymity could encourage abuse by individuals with hateful opinions, but I really like the idea that people are able to share their opinions without fear of backlash from others who may not share the same opinions. I think that the members of this class are mature enough to be able to handle the anonymity without the abuse.
I can easily see how adding an "anonymous message" or "anonymous contribution" format to class would be perceived as sneaky or cowardly or illegitimate -- "say it to our faces" -- just like the confrontation clause. But that is just socialization, there is no reason it needs to be.
The one pitfall I see with the thread is there are so many questions that are submitted, but it has the potential to send the discussion in a bunch of different directions. So I think having a more narrow request for a question, for example a narrow specific topic is more helpful. I do find that anonymity however is helpful because people may think their question may be "dumb" or not relevant, so I think it takes away that insecurity.
I think it could be a useful supplemental tool, but not a replacement for general discourse. The idea of anonymous comments is not knew; I remember having anonymous submissions available via a paper comment box in middle school when talking about sexual anatomy. So, in certain contexts, I think it's great to have anonymous discourse because it allows people to engage in questions and discussions they may not otherwise be willing to engage in. But, my main concern with it is that we have seen the lack of civility that can take place when people hide behind an anonymous alias. One major question I am left with: are we trying to achieve a level of discourse not possible in face to face interaction? If so, what are the benefits of doing so? And should we use an anonymous tool like this to spark questions and comments that should then be discussed in a non-anonymous environment (which would possibly limit the likelihood of uncivil discourse)?
Is "civility" minimizing what is at stake? What about contributions that are rejected/reviled/attacked not because they are not "civil" but because they are in substance outside of bounds (set by who) of what is considered "acceptable"?