Back when Bruce Reeves and I did our Masters of Education thesis together, we found study after study showed that there was no significant difference in the performance of students who were studying a class at a distance and those who were studying on campus.
This website (and the corresponding book) pulls together hundreds of studies comparing online versus on-campus student performance … which point generally to either no significant difference between them … or that online students actually outperform their campus-based counterparts. And this result is during the infancy of online teaching, in which we are still trying to teach the old way using new tools, “blind to the possibilities of doing new and different things” (McDonald, J. (2002). Is “as good as face-to-face” as good as it gets?).