The reasons people take online classes vary. Some people take the online route because their work schedule does not coincide with classes at colleges. Single moms can earn a higher education without leaving their children. Some people may not have a college in their area.
It's rather unfair to say that online classes aren't teaching individuals. I think that a lot depends on the individual attending online classes. Dedication, discipline, and consistency are vitally important for academic success in online classes. The classes are accelerated with as much information to learn in 8 weeks, as someone who physically attends class for 16 weeks; so one must be diligent in their studies in order to keep up.
Learning styles also make a difference.
I've been taking online classes for over two years. The education I am receiving is outstanding and my GPA is 3.73. Not bad for an old bag!