Resources › For Students and Parents Online Education 101 Share Flipboard Email Print Linzy Slusher/E+/Getty Images For Students and Parents Distance Learning Online College Online High School Online Public Schools Free Courses Homework Help Private School Test Prep College Admissions College Life Graduate School Business School Law School View More By Jamie Littlefield Education Expert M.A., Education, Claremont Graduate University B.A., English, Brigham Young University Jamie Littlefield is a writer, instructional designer, and teacher of high school and college distance education courses. Her work has appeared in Huffington Post, Psychology Today, and more. our editorial process Jamie Littlefield Updated March 06, 2017 Exploring Online Education: Online education is often preferred by professionals, parents, and students who need a flexible school schedule. This article will help you understand the basics of online education, recognize its benefits and drawbacks, and choose an online education program that fits your needs. What is Online Education?: Online education is any type of learning that occurs through the internet. Online education is often called: distance learningdistance educationvirtual learningonline learninge-learningweb-based training Is Online Education Right for You?: Online education isn’t for everyone. People who are most successful with online education tend to be self-motivated, skilled with scheduling their time, and capable of meeting deadlines. Advanced reading and writing skills are often required to excel in text-heavy online education courses. See: Is Online Learning Right for You? Online Education Pros: Online education offers flexibility for people who have work or family responsibilities outside of school. Often, students enrolled in online education programs are able to work at their own pace, accelerating their studies if desired. Online education programs may also charge less than traditional programs. Online Education Cons: Students involved in online education often complain that they miss the direct, face-to-face interaction found on traditional campuses. Since coursework is generally self-directed, it is difficult for some online education students to stay engaged and complete their assignments on time. Types of Online Education Programs: When choosing an online education program, you’ll need to decide between synchronous courses and asynchronous courses. Students taking online education courses synchronously are required to log on to their courses at the same time as their professors and peers. Students taking online education courses asynchronously may log on to the course website whenever they choose and do not have to participate in discussions or lectures at the same time as their peers. Choosing an Online Education Program: After surveying your online education options, choose a school that fits your personal goals and learning style. The About.com list of Online Education Program Profiles can help you make the right decision.