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In episode 5 of Managing eLearning, Dr. Deb Stone, Assistant Director of Continuing Education at The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), sat down with Dr. Jon Aleckson and Matt Harpold to discuss how working with associations executives takes time and collaboration to build a digital strategy. Deb shares how she worked to understand the essentials of what to implement and how to prioritize her organization’s digitalization.


Matt kicks off the episode with a definition of digital transformation: the process of using digital technologies to create new or modified existing business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet the changing businesses and market requirements.

AVMA had handled change and digital transformation in a similar way to hundreds of other associations. They had hosted webinars, but they began to realize how important taking the next step was—building a digital education platform. Therefore, Axon, a digital education platform powered by CourseStage LMS, was built to ensure members had access to valuable education 24/7 at their convenience. This platform is described as a “one-stop source for digital education”, and it’s a growing library of veterinary CE courses, webinars, and podcasts. Deb said AVMA “blossomed” when this platform was built, simply because the organization was given the ability to build courses with valuable information that they never were able to before.

AVMA’s digital transformation journey required time and collaboration among the association’s executives. Essential conversations were held to be transparent about what the organization needed. AVMA also reached out to other associations who have been through or who were also going through the learning management platform development process. It’s critical to learn not only about what you need, but also what other organizations needed in their process to see how well each learning platform tailored to the needs of each individual organization, according to Deb.

For AVMA, Axon proved to be a lesson in digital transformation, simply because members learned the art of “nimbleness”, which describes how it’s essential to evaluate digital transformation with intelligence and quickness to guarantee a smooth process and to make each goal a reality. Member value had increased, according to Deb, and activity reports and commenting tools in the platform made it easier to gage how the users were reacting to the content, as well as how the organization can best suit the needs of their veterinary professionals.

Overall, AVMA’s digital transformation with Axon allowed executives and members to learn a lot of valuable skills and information that they will carry on with them into the future. “Whether we like it or not, most working folks experience some daily virtual connection that brought value. And I don’t think that will ever go away, especially educationally,” said Deb.

These are just the highlights! Listen to the full episode on RSS here, or follow our Spotify to be the first to get notifications when a new episode drops!

Want to learn more about digital transformation in the association space? Jon Aleckson and Deb Stone will be hosting a session at this year’s ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition titled “Association Digital Transformation”. This will take place on August 16th at 1:30 PM CT. RSVP to this session here.