I've had good and bad experiences with distance education. Many of our strong students are able to take high school classes through our state's virtual public high school. These classes are taught by a certified teacher and are often just a rigorous as traditional classes. These courses are a good option for students who want to take a course we do not offer (AP Hebrew) or can't fit a needed course into their schedule (AP Calc is only offered in two periods).
At the same time, students who are not driven and motivated to the point that they can monitor themselves and keep themselves focused on their school work do not do well in these courses. Also, severl foreign language students do not do as well since they do not get the practice hearing and speaking the langugae as they would in a traditional course.
I myself have taken online graduate level courses and have seen both good and bad. My first masters had the bese online course. Again, you had to be motivated to keep yourself focused, but through her articles, links, and posted lectures we were able to get so much information. I've also taken online courses where the professor has posted the assignments and left us alone to the end. These courses wasted my time and money and offered no educational value.
Online Education is like traditional education. It depends on the teacher and the student.