Online tutoring is the process of tutoring in an online, virtual environment or networked environment in which teachers and learners are separated by time and space. Online tutoring, as a reflection of the diversity of the wider Internet, is practiced using many different approaches and is addressed to distinct sets of users. The distinctions are in online content and interface, as well as in tutoring and tutor-training methodologies. Definitions associated with online tutoring vary widely, reflecting the ongoing evolution of the technology, the refinement and variation in online learning methodology, and the interactions of the organizations that deliver online tutoring services with the institutions, individuals, and learners that employ the services. This form of Internet service is a classical micropublishing situation.
Online environments applied in education usually involve the use of learning management systems or Virtual Learning Environments such as Moodle, Sakai, WebCT, Blackboard. Online tutoring may be offered either directly through the virtual learning environment of a tutoring service or via a link in a learning management system (LMS). In the first case, the learner or his or her parents may be required to pay for tutoring time before the delivery of service, whereas many educational institutions and major textbook publishers sponsor a certain amount of tutoring without a direct charge to the learner.