What you describe Steve is how Moodle generally operates. I'm not sure what you mean by collaborative community, you might try being more specific as to who you want to collaborate and what they are working on and then post that to teaching strategies. We tend to deal with those issues there, as they are not related to basic Moodle set up as much as to how it is used and what functionality you make available to whom.
Teaching with Moodle
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