In the future you may wish to distribute to your students examples of “exceptional” student essays, papers, etc., from past offerings of the course. This is a good idea, as it permits students currently enrolled in the course to develop a better understanding of your expectations for their performance. Students frequently comment on the usefulness of such examples, and request that more such examples be included in online courses.
One of the issues that you need to consider is that ownership of student work submitted during participation in a course still rests with the student. If you wish to distribute such items or include them in your course in an ongoing manner (for example, by placing them on a course website), you should clear the use of these items with the original authors (getting such permission in writing is a good idea). It would also be a good idea to find out whether the student wishes to have his/her name associated with an example when it is used in the course.