This story about an educational use of NWN game is closely related to my investigation.  I’ll be following up on this as a possibility for my 3rd creative development cycle – alternatives currently SL, AW or a games environment like this –

“Educational computer games–they’re not just for five-year-olds anymore,” jokes School of Journalism and Mass Communication (SJMC) professor Kathleen Hansen as she navigates around the fantasy world of a computer game called “Neverwinter Nights” in her Murphy Hall office. Hansen, who has taught the Jour 3004 (Information for Mass Communication) course in the school for 25 years, has taken the course in a new direction this semester with the help of “Neverwinter Nights” and a research partnership with Nora Paul, the director of SJMC’s Institute for New Media Studies.

 

Hansen and Paul are part of a growing community of scholars who are rethinking the role of “educational games” in the classroom and turning gaming environments into learning environments. The gaming-as-learning movement is motivated by a simple observation: college students today learn in different ways than preceding generations. Current research by cognitive learning theorists, psychologists, neurologists, and biologists is beginning to show the ability of today’s students to naturally “multitask” while learning–absorbing information from multiple sources simultaneously.

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