Systems Available

There are many open source and proprietary VLEs available for use. On-demand elearning services are also a popular choice because they can be deployed in minutes and do not require instructors and institutions to run their own servers.

Many VLEs are placed on a web server. In a typical VLE there are one or more programs or languages that provides the user (Teacher-Student) interface, and which interacts with a database. For example, a VLE might use PHP as its web language/program, with MySQL as a database.

VLEs are increasingly found in new niches. These include new emerging technologies, as well as specialized markets. A VLE can be deployed on a USB drive as a child, which synchronizes from time to time with its web-based parent. VLEs can be used for training or in something as specialized as to meet ISO 9000 certification requirements.

Virtual world learning environments
Emerging technologies include Sloodle, a merge of Second Life and Moodle, which integrates virtual worlds and course management.

Another 3D virtual learning environment called Edusim brings a lessons driven 3D virtual environment to the classroom interactive whiteboard surface allowing the direct manipulation of 3D virtual objects. Umgumbo is an immersive 3D VLE set in a Newtonian simulation of the solar system. Still in development, Umgumbo will allow collaborative and interactive learning within personalized 3D spaces, including educational gaming, and is delivered from a single external website.