This is actually a convergence-- I am struck by how useful the three "old" theories are to creating online courses. Each one gave me the idea for a type of instruction and related assignment/learner activity. (I guess that was the point of assignments 2 and 3. :) So the first concept is the adaptation of traditional learning theories to DE-- they can each be used to support and deepen a type of learning in the online environment.
2. Also I found important the constructivist notion of the essentiality of knowing first the goal of the course or program within the organization's purpose, and also within the potential learner's journey. I'm realizing that we shouldn't even start to design a course without defining the goal first, and then deriving objectives from it. This could be quite important with writing courses. The first course, for example, might introduce students to essay structure and get them comfortable with stating a point and supporting that with evidence. That would mean there's no need to teach particular modes-- they can start writing about their own lives or experiences, as long as they get the idea of analysis: Point and support.
Defining each course's goal can help differentiate, so that students aren't doing the same basic assignments over and over regardless of level.
3. Lifelong learning is aided by the ability to join and contribute to communities of practice, especially in the learner's profession or avocation. These have been important since, oh, the guilds of the 14th century, but are becoming even more important and accessible with Web 2.0. Designing and supporting online communities of practice can be a way for universities to stay relevant in the lives of learners after they leave school.