How do these courses differ from typical online education courses?

These courses are more analogous to a University course than your typical online education course primarily due to the scope and depth of the material presented and the guidance and interaction offered by instructors.  Most online courses present content but do not have an instructor that holds office hours, is available to answer your questions, and provides feedback on assignments and assessments (quizzes and exams).  Think of this as taking a University course with all that a college course has to offer, but in the comfort of your own home or office (and without the Bay Area commute!)