A group called Teazers runs a number of building classes inside of Second Life. These classes can be found by using the Events tab of the Search page. I’ve taken 4 or 5 classes in the last week and they are a lot of fun.
The classes are currently free, apparently paid for under the scope of a program run by Linden Labs to encourage this type of thing.
After showing up at the main Teazers campus, you check the bulletin board to find the location of your class. Then you teleport to the class, and join the crowd already there. Typically, the instructor will give you a box with some textures, scripts and other needed supplies. The instructor then leads the class, step by step and prim by prim (prims, or primitives, are the fundamental building blocks in Second Life). They also answer questions and help people asthey go.
Here are a couple of screen shots from a recent class where we made a beach blanket, an umbrella, a pillow, and some pose balls:
Just getting started: <div style="text-align:center;"> </div>
Texture on the blanket and the umbrella pole built: <div style="text-align:center;"> </div>
Testing and adjusting the pose ball. I happened to have uploaded a DVD cover from Amazon and used that to create a cartoon character motif on my blanket: <div style="text-align:center;"> </div>
Thanking the instructor: <div style="text-align:center;"> </div>
These classes are fun and helpful. It is interesting to watch everyone build, texture, and adjust in parallel.
The opportunities to use a setup similar to this for real-world training are obvious, and extensive.