I think that Distance Learning is an interesting concept. I don’t think its suitable for all learners but can be very beneficial for others. I think that online courses that can provide flexibility can also be just as informational as regular classrooms. It obviously depends on the course and on the student. I have never taken an online course and cannot talk from experience but I did research the different types of distance learning. Here they are
Synchronous distance learning: Learning by chatting online, teleconferencing and sitting in a classroom.
Pro: Makes interaction between students and professors easy
Con: Less Flexibility
Asynchronous distance learning: Learning mostly through online texts, videos or communicating with other students on online forums.
Pro: flexibility, students work when they can
Con: Makes interaction between students and professors hard
Hybrid distance learning: courses are a combination of synchronous and asynchronous learning, students are required to be available at fixed time in the Internet chat room or classroom, but are allowed to complete assignments at their own pace.
Pro: flexibility with assignments but also easy to communicate with teachers
Con: the fixed timing of lessons
For more info on types of distance learning check out: http://www.worldeducation.info/Distance-Education/Types-of-Distance-Education.html