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corporate-trainingA number of factors enhance or detract from a learning experience. Consider which ones you can control.

Colors, seating, tools, environmental considerations, and your attitude, dress, preparation, and passion all enhance—or detract from—an effective and positive learning environment.

Color. Research has shown that bland, neutral environments are so unlike the real world that learning achieved in these "sensory deprivation chambers" cannot be transferred to the job. Color can be a powerful way to engage the limbic part of the brain and create long-term retention. It can align the right and left brains. Ways to incorporate color include artwork, plants, and pictures that help people feel comfortable and visually stimulated. Consider printing your handouts and assessments in color.

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socialmedia1Creating community and collaboration around your learning using social tools like Facebook or Yammer is a great way to support training transfer. Social tools can be used to supplement the content in an e-learning or live virtual class and provide a space for participants and course graduates to discuss what they've learned.

An advantage of using tools such as Facebook and Yammer is that they are very informal and user-friendly—trainees and graduates who may be reluctant to participate using other tools are more comfortable adding a short comment to a wall post, posting a photo, or just clicking "Like."

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storytelling-wordleby M. Carolyn Miller

How to trigger learning at a deep level.
Our lives always have revolved around stories. Throughout time, we have sat around campfires and kitchen tables listening to stories that made us laugh and cry and make sense of our lives. In the old days, the tales we heard were magical—about a prince rescuing a princess, about a hero slaying a dragon, about a maiden slipping into the Underworld and returning years later.

Regardless of the language used or the images evoked, these tales offer timeless themes about the human condition and our resiliency in the face of often-overwhelming odds. Often unbeknownst to the audience, embedded in these tales are lessons or morals. In the "big" stories of a society or a culture, these morals carry rules about how to live, what to believe, and how to belong. The "smaller" stories, passed down through our families, places of worship, and classrooms, do the same but at smaller levels.

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