9The Sixth Way of LearningIMPROVING PERFORMANCELearning Through Virtual Realities

WE SPEAK ABOUT THE “REAL WORLD” as if there were some other world that isn’t real. The real world suggests harshness and toughness. We say, “She needs a good dose of reality.” In our everyday speech we make the distinction between the real world and more sheltered environments.

Some jobs are hard to learn in the real-world setting where they are performed, because making a mistake can be costly or even life threatening. Sometimes large sums of money or physical safety are at stake. In military or emergency preparedness training, one hopes never to use what was learned. For these situations, learning in virtual realities is a welcome alternative to the real situation. ...

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