........and this forum is becoming increasingly the replacement for college learning.
I have to disagree strongly with this thought, if the intent of the comment is to say it is the equivalent.
There is no question that forums and other online resources can certainly be very educational. At its best,.......... these kinds of venues can of course be very, very useful. At their worst... they can convey lots of misinformation,.... because as Mathew Katz recently so aptly said elsewhere online in a ceramics group, ......the 1000 people saying the wrong stuff outweigh the very few people saying the right stuff with people reading the forums who do not know better.
To compare the value of these online venues to a hands-on, in the studio working environment with the trust relationships built between faculty and students, and students and other students, is not even close to the same situation. The working environment in a college major department situation is still leaps and bounds ahead of simply perusing images online and partaking in online discussions. Even with the (unfortunately) changing situation... it is still comparing apples to grapefruit.
Yes, online courses exist. Many of our faculty have taught in the past at some of the major online college programs (whose names you'd recognize from the ubiquitous TV ads) ... and say that the content, methodology, and pedagogy of those online classes is a total joke. They've quit for that reason.
I also teach one course in the art history department,......... an area that seems a natural for an online class. It is NOT!
In my classes, I can walk around and hand a student a piece of claywork from my collection that is 5000 years old, and point out the forming technique details, and note the FINGERPRINT on it that they can touch. An image will not have the same impact. I can emphasize the impacts of the horrible warlike culture of Japan on the psyche and aesthetics of the Samurai period, by taking a hands-on moment and teaching them to wield a bokken (wooden practice sword) for a few moves... and show them just how quickly real battles could lead to their death. Getting to the gut level of this is to start to understand wabi-sabi. I can't do that online.
Could I teach my class online? Of course. Would it be as valuable or as effective? NO!
Personally... I would not even go NEAR doing a real critique session online. Because in order for that to be effective.... there has to be a trust relationship between the parties involved. To build that deep trust... so that things can the said with sincerity and frankness...... takes a lot of time and interaction that simply cannot be done online. It takes hours of working together in the trenches to help build that trust.
Can online and digital technology be useful in education? Of course. But is that as useful as having classroom time, real-time, real-world faculty interaction AND online resources? No.