News story

New Fosway research on the impact of COVID-19 shows L&D will never be the same again

Cirencester, UKLearning NewsFosway

95% of Learning Leaders say their strategy has changed forever. As the response to the COVID-19 pandemic shifts gears across Europe, Fosway Group, Europe’s #1 HR industry analyst, today shares new research on the impact of the crisis on corporate Learning & Development strategies, priorities and spend. Plus, practical insight into what is truly helping employees learn in this moment of crisis – and what’s not.


The inevitable move to digital learning from face-to-face training is only the beginning of this story. There are deeper shifts happening, including the types of solution that L&D teams are finding the most successful and the ways people are choosing to learn. And these changes – some of which have been talked about for years under the guise of ‘digital transformation’ - have happened almost overnight.

Some key headlines:

  • Learning priorities and L&D strategy have changed for 94% of organisations in response to the pandemic, with two in three making significant changes to what they do and how they do it.

  • Unsurprisingly, there has been a major swing to digital learning, with spend increasing on almost all areas of digital, led by content. 82% report that demand for digital learning has increased from senior stakeholders, whilst 71% have experienced an increased demand for digital learning content from learners themselves.

  • Traditional e-learning shows signs of waning both in terms of adoption but also significantly in terms of perceived success. Video content is the highest rated in supporting organisations throughout the COVID-19 crisis so far, closely followed by curated content. Bespoke e-learning, off-the-shelf courses and blended learning are all reported to be less successful.

  • Meanwhile, as people get used to working remotely and in virtual teams, collaboration is becoming a key priority. 84% of L&D leaders think it is more important to integrate digital learning into other corporate platforms such as Microsoft Teams, Slack and Trello.

  • So-called learning experience platforms as well as collaborative learning specialist platforms are rated as the most successful systems after – predictably – virtual classrooms.

David Perring, director of research at Fosway Group said, ‘When you are in the middle of a crisis, it’s sometimes difficult to step back and appreciate quite how far you’ve come in a short space of time. Yes, we’ve seen the virtualisation of classroom training as a quick win to cope with the immediate crisis. But what the data is telling us , is that the pandemic has also been a catalyst for a much deeper adoption of digital learning.  One that has accelerated how organisations embrace more collaborative learning, more curated content, microlearning and video-based solutions – which will mean that L&D will never be the same again! ’

This research was carried out via an online survey with Fosway’s corporate research network during May 2020. The interim results are based on input from 108 enterprise organisations.

For a copy of the full infographic visit the Fosway website.

The survey remains open online.