I've never been involved with an online course, however surely some aspects of learning remain the same. It depends on the content of the course, whether an initial assessment is made and if appropriate support is available to individual learners whether online or by other means. If support and assessment are not in place, learners who struggle with the subject or have learning difficulties will not reach their full potential. In the classroom there are a variety of signals that informs the teacher of each learner's progress and understanding of the session being taught.
On the other hand, an online course may be more accessible to a range of people who would find it difficult to attend classroom sessions due to employment, childcare commitments, or if the college is not accessible to them for any reason. This makes the online course inclusive within the community.
I think, in theory, on line courses can be inclusive. However, in my experiences, what these type of courses lack are a sense of community where students can share ideas and discuss progress. I know that many on-line courses have the facility to allow users to chat in forums and community rooms but my experiences tell me that I want face-to-face communication with others when I am learning a new skill. This is especially true when I am struggling with a new idea and may not have go to grips with all language needed to express my problems.
Yes i would agree with that though the learners are all in the same room and do talk to each other as well as the tutors and volunteer tutors. Also, every single learner asks for help at some point so as you say without the human contact those courses would be very difficult. Which is what i mean by can they be fully inclusive because you can't ask it questions to clarify a definition or to rephrase a question. The content is fixed and does not allow for a great deal of differentiation.
If, as I perceive, these courses are quite short term, then can the inclusivity tag be less important than in a conventional setting? They are means to an end, and are surely chosen by the 'student' to suit time/place/budget. The real learning takes place once the student is on the course these on-line activities have paved the way for?