Virtual Learning Environment – A new way to learn.
Sometimes virtual can mean unreal. In the context of a learning experience, virtual should mean more real and true-to-life than other learning experiences.
What could be less real than a text based description of a medical procedure or an industrial process? What could be less engaging than a classroom instructional session? What could be less memorable than line drawing illustrations and captioned still images.
Performing a medical procedure in a virtual OR, simulating a cardiac point tagging procedure in a virtual ep lab or performing an aortic valve replacement on a virtual heart, can be an adrenalin producing, heart pumping, virtual experience like nothing else, short of the real thing.
Perhaps the definition of virtual as being something unreal is less accurate than defining virtual as actually being closer to reality.