New research shows virtual classrooms are powering learning through the pandemic...but still have untapped potential for high value people development 

Kortrijk, Belgium - 7 January 2021: 97% of organisations are now using virtual classrooms to support learning and development, with over half (53%) reporting that they have proved to be their most successful learning platforms during the COVID-19 crisis. 
This data is part of new research conducted by Fosway Group, Europe’s #1 HR industry analyst, in partnership with Barco, a global provider of networked visualisation solutions. It follows Fosway research earlier in 2020 which showed that 95% of learning leaders believe L&D has changed forever because of the pandemic. 
Key headlines from this new research include:
  • A 5x increase in using virtual classrooms for high value programmes like leadership development since the start of COVID-19
  • An explosion in the use of virtual classrooms for coaching and mentoring, with a 19x increase
  • A 400% increase in the use of virtual classrooms for external training delivery
  • 95% of learners are satisfied with their virtual learning experiences
  • Group exercises, live collaboration and levels of interactivity are key influencers of success with virtual classrooms
With the shift to remote working, the explosion in virtual classroom solutions was inevitable. But the research digs beyond initial crisis adoption to understand if these solutions are truly effective for learning, as well as having the capabilities required for high value people development. For example, the research shows that 70% of organisations are using Microsoft Teams as virtual classroom, but only 10% rate it as effective for learning. L&D leaders also state that creating a differentiated experience from normal virtual meetings is critical. Designing experiences that include high levels of interaction are necessary to make virtual learning work. 

David Wilson, CEO of Fosway said, “Virtual classrooms have been a staple in corporate learning for a long time, but as with so many aspects of digital transformation, it’s taken the COVID-19 crisis to create a tipping point in their adoption. Early in the pandemic, there was a sense that any learning done was better than nothing. That meant it had to be virtual or digital. But as time goes on, organisations must go beyond lowest common denominator solutions and have to also deliver against strategic people initiatives such as leadership and team development.”

He continues, “Given the ongoing need for extended home working and limited business travel, all companies need to maximise the untapped potential that virtual classrooms can provide. It’s not enough to just lift and shift face-to-face sessions into a virtual environment. It’s critical to design the experiences and harness the full collaborative and interactive capabilities that some of the solutions on the market have to offer.”

Ellen Van de Woestijne, Marketing Director of Barco said, “Supporting organisations through the COVID-19 crisis has been our number one concern and understanding how learning priorities and business challenges are evolving now is key to that. It is clear that many L&D teams won’t simply be reverting back to the old face-to-face model even after the pandemic is over. So, we are delighted to collaborate with Fosway on this research and hopefully highlight key areas of importance and opportunity into 2021.”

This research was carried out between August and October 2020, with initial results based on input from 136 enterprise organisations. For a copy of the full infographic click here.


About Fosway Group
Fosway Group is Europe’s #1 HR Industry Analyst focused on Next Gen HR, Talent and Learning. Founded in 1996, we are known for our unique European research, our independence and our integrity. And just like the Roman road we draw our name from, you’ll find that we’re unusually direct. We don’t have a vested interest in your supplier or consulting choices. So, whether you’re looking for independent research, specific advice or a critical friend to cut through the market hype, we can tell you what you need to know to succeed.

About Barco

Barco designs technology to enable bright outcomes around the world. Seeing beyond the image, we develop visualization and collaboration solutions to help you work together, share insights, and wow audiences. Our focus is on three core markets: Enterprise (from meeting and control rooms to corporate spaces), Healthcare (from the radiology department to the operating room), and Entertainment (from movie theaters to live events and attractions). 

For more information, visit us on, follow us on Twitter (@Barco), LinkedIn (Barco), YouTube (BarcoTV), or like us on Facebook (Barco).

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Inge Govaerts - Corporate Communications Officer

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