A theme which you have no doubt noticed in this blog is that of me keeping track of student progress in Second life by strolling round the island looking at what they have made recently.
Yesterday in class I showed them how to make particle systems (visual effects) through scripting. I set a challenge to make a snow globe for their snowman. This morning there was a snow globe waiting for me, along with some smoke particle systems. I know that various students had already taught themselves how to do this before the class, because I could see devil dogs belching fire, or fireworks being displayed when baby creatures were born. So I can get an idea of what skills people have developed reasonably quickly because of the shared work space and the graphical nature of what they are building. This is perhaps similar to art and design courses where the staff can browse the shared workspace of the studio to see progress. They can also, as I do, comment on work which is under progress. I do this a lot by instant messaging the owner of a SL creature I like.
This is probably old news for people who teach in discipline sother than computer science. But I find it endlessly fascinating because it's rare to so easily see the students work progressing in our other learning environments.