In this paper we present the main features of a virtual-reality enhanced online learning environment that can be used to deliver fully automated online courses with an ultimate goal of substituting traditional classroom instruction for many science, technology, engineering and math courses. The learning environment incorporates a high level of interactivity that will make the student an active participant in the learning experience, rather than a passive spectator. Virtual-reality is seamlessly integrated in order to simulate lab experiments, scientific instruments and/or industrial equipment. This will help bridge the gap between real world experience and online learning. The learning environment is illustrated using recently developed online courses for freshman university Physics, welding, CNC machining, and centrifugal pump maintenance.

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