My daughter just got finished with freshman year at San Diego State University. She did well and really learned in smaller classes, but the one she had trouble with was a huge lecture class. When I was in school, we always had small group sections with TA's for those big classes so you could actually interact and get your questions answered so you understood them. They've basically eliminated those due to budget cuts, and it sucks for students today.
I have actually worked in the on-line learning industry (in software that makes it happen), so I'm something of an expert on it. These systems have become hugely important as an adjunct to live classes--you'll find them everywhere and they are a godsend in terms of easing the distribution of class materials and providing class notes--but they are absolutely not an adequate replacement for class time where you can work with someone who knows what they are talking about.
I am too lazy to look it up, but we have lots of data after nearly 20 years of serious and widespread usage of on-line learning (OLL), and the one statistic that still bowls me over is that something like 90% of individuals who start an online course *never complete them*. This is skewed a bit because so many of these courses are individual study at private for-profit schools, but that's actually the crime: there's been this gigantic business built out of taking money from people who want to learn, throwing online courses at them and giving them no motivation to actually take them or get the degree. There are parallels to the exercise/workout club business....
Don't get me wrong, I love that we're putting more and more stuff on line, it's just the idea that it's a *replacement* for actual *teaching* that's really totally out of whack. You don't really learn well passively. You need to be challenged and *to* challenge in order for you to actually *get* what you "know."
An education isn't how much you have committed to memory, or even how much you know. It's being able to differentiate between what you do know and what you don't,