Recently in my PIDP 3240 course, a fellow student presented a video that discusses how online and in-class study compares, and its relationship not only students but the instructor as well.
Often when we think of online learning compared to classroom learning, we think of how it affects the learner, but we don't consider too much on how different it is for the instructor. This video compares both.
One thing that struck me regarding online courses was the phrase, "The course rides on what students deliver as opposed to what students do." Often we discuss the pros and cons of these two different types of learning, but this one main difference really says it all, I think.
When discussing which is best, we really must look at what we are trying to assess. If it is the final outcome, the student presenting to us a summary of what they have learned, then online would be very well suited to this class. However, if we are looking at the process that a student is using to achieve a desired outcome, then learning would be much better suited to the traditional classroom (and lab or workshop as needed).
One of the many reasons that I think that traditional classrooms, with the addition of technology to support it, will remain the best learning situation for many students, in many varied disciplines.