The Key Findings of a Research Paper by Forrester Research

This paper is entitled “Mobile Learning Will Lead the Charge for Corporate Learning in New Workers Environments”

The study yielded a number of key findings.

Executive Summary

The learning expectations of today’s workers have changed.  Traditional classroom and eLearning courses have less relevance in today’s corporate, fast-paced environment.  Our research shows that online learning is as effective as – and in some cases more effective than – classroom learning.  Technology enables fast, efficient learning and allows for in-depth analysis and problem-based learning.  Digital disruption affects the tools, content, and delivery methods that make up your learning strategy.  It’s time to give them a facelift.

The eLearning courses assigned to workers have value, but for most organisations, it’s time to examine different approaches.  Digital technologies meet employees’ work needs in context and go beyond self-paced eLearning, virtual classrooms, and classroom instruction – while incorporating these older approaches as appropriate.

In the future, learning content will be part of employees’ daily lives.  Whether they wish to find a short chunk of learning needed to do work, collaborate on a project, or determine the business impact of learning, the content in the future will showcase new and retooled functionality.  Above all, employees will have a user-friendly interface on their personal devices that provides tailored, personalised learning experiences.

Learning and development departments understand the need for mobile learning, reflected in the growth of adoption of mobile learning across organisations in North America.  Many organisations often struggle to implement mobile learning, even as they recognise the pressure is “on” to provide content in mobile-ready formats.  This struggle is a result of a combination of factors, such as traditional learning behaviours, legacy learning content, lack of financial resources, and outdated technology.

But corporate training departments face a major problem; with so many technologies available to use for online and, in particular, mobile learning, how do business leaders identify the most effective technologies and maximize the value of mobile learning?  What do the employees really need?  What are the key challenges that learning leaders have?

In December 2016, Abode commissioned Forrester Consulting to evaluate some of the key challenges, drivers, and trends that business is facing in regards to corporate learning.  To explore this trend, Forrester conducted a custom study to identify key business trends, challenges, and drivers for learning across industries.  The study included in-depth surveys with 161 senior HR and learning and development (L&D) leaders in the US and Canada.


Key Findings

This study yielded a number of key findings:

  • While Millennials form a larger share of the workforce, mobile is important for all. The composition of the current workforce in North America has changed.  More than one-third of the entire workforce in the US was born in the 1990s or later.  Though it is easy to equate the Millennial workforce with new technologies, a high usage of mobile devices across all workforce age groups has bolstered the importance of mobile-based technologies.  Corporations must realise this and adapt their learning strategy to accommodate the needs and behaviour of their workforce. 


  • Traditional learning approaches will no longer be sufficient.  Traditionally, organisations have relied on learning approaches such as face-to-face classroom sessions, curriculum-based learning courses, and on-the-job learning.  While these methods are still effective, they lack the scalability and ability to reach your employees in the need of the hour.


We find from our research that those in their 40s and 50s care about mobile, too.  eLearning on mobile is not merely a Millennial thing; it’s about maximizing employee performance.  We use it to fit learning into daily schedules of employees – for people to learn whenever they can, however they can.”

–          Digital learning leader, large global conglomerate

  • Orga
    nisations will develop more mobile learning content. Organisations across North American understand the need to evolve their learning strategy.  The HR and L&D leaders we interviewed highlighted the need to develop feature-rich content that is more accessible to employees in their moment of need, thus making it more effective.  We further learned that mobile takes centre stage for the development of new content in the future for corporations across industries in the US and Canada.
  • Mobile learning will increase the effectiveness of learning programmes. Through mobile learning, organisations will be able to author and deliver shorter, more targeted content, focusing on the specific needs of the employee on the go.  Mobile learning will allow L&D leaders to treat their employees as Customers and deliver an enhanced workforce experience by allowing flexibility and ease of use in consuming learning content.  It will also ensure higher completion rates and improved dissemination of knowledge across the organisation and in the larger ecosystem.


  • There are several challenges in implementing a comprehensive mobile eLearning strategy. Implementing a comprehensive and successful mobile eLearning strategy is not easy.  There are several technical challenges, such as the setup of infrastructure, configuration of several device types, and security.  It is also challenging for instructional designers to develop mobile learning content.  Additionally, with the availability of many tools and platforms, learning leaders find it difficult to ascertain the right platform for authoring mobile content.


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