inside higher ed comment: online courses
The comments in reaction to this story have taught me that online courses are more difficult, more demanding, more isolating, less fun, and require more self-discipline from the student, and are harder work for the instructor. I've also learned that more students fail online courses than face-to-face courses. From an academic publishing rep, I've learned that the skills learned are primarily content-related instead of the classic soft skills of socialization, working with others, and presenting in person.
In a roundabout way, these points seem to prove sk's (the first post) generic reservation about online courses, if not his slander of their quality. Online courses take what's good about college learning away. The best academic programs do not emphasize online learning and they never will, because people need face-to-face interaction to get better at skills. No sports coach would expect success coaching exclusively online, for example.
Name one job where the worker does his/her work exclusively online. I can think of only one: online college instructor.