The on-line courses are only good if you are an independent learner and can focus on the material. If you're like me and can get distracted or will procrastinate than I would recommend a classroom environment. The material can be difficult and the help of an instructor or classmates can make the difference. For example, knot tying is part of the curriculum. Being a lineman by trade I already know how to tie the knots and was able teach others the tricks of trade. (much better than the instructor) There were also sailors in my class who helped me understand the sailing rules better. These are things you will lose in an on-line course. That being said, your the only one who can decide what is easier for you.
I did the fat weekend and could not imagine doing it online. It was a lot of information in a short time. I never really "got it" until I took the masters upgrade classes which was a great refresher for the OUPV exam. [patcheye]