Just ran across this quote: "Research into online learning suggests that it is roughly as effective as classroom learning." The TED talk in the OP sorta suggests the same, at a meta-level.
Chum in the water.
So I was just swimming a mile away when I caught the faintest whiff of something tasty...
I've taken a number of online courses and I basically agree. However, I know of a few people who didn't do so well or otherwise didn't like the format. For more responsible/organized people it's definately a great option.
I have always done well in my classes to whatever extent I showed up. I often found class to be a waste of time for me, so again, I'm sympathetic to the idea of trimming the proverbial fat. I did well with the material as it was presented (written and verbal) and rarely needed much reiteration. Other folks in my classes clearly wanted or needed the instant feedback you can get in class though.