I'm all for taking sides when it makes sense. That said, I usually find debates about online vs. traditional learning kind of pointless. Much like debates between work-at-home and traditional career moms - "best" and "right" are defined situationally, in context; there is no actual "best" or "right." Is eLearning as good as face-to-face instruction? Is it better? Is the learning as sticky? It depends on the situation.
Lorri Freifeld's Training Magazine feature Online vs. In-Class Success is refreshing because Freifeld recognizes the importance of context when designing instruction. Training isn't an either or proposition; it's a What is the best training solution for this specific constellation of learner characteristics, performance objectives and resources? proposition.
That is the fundamental question instructional design should answer correctly. Every time.
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