Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Degree Name

Educational Leadership

Department or School/College

Phyllis J. Washington College of Education

Committee Chair

John Matt

Commitee Members

Nathan Lindsay, William McCaw, Frances L. O’Reilly, Andrea Vernon


Cognitive Ability, College Readiness, Content Knowledge, Habits of Success, Personalized Learning, Teacher Efficacy


University of Montana


Following the global COVID-19 pandemic, schools across the United States experimented with online learning platforms. Prior to that, hundreds of schools adopted the Summit Learning platform, meant to supplement face-to-face learning with digital instruction and curricula. This study is a qualitative phenomenology exploring the lived experiences of teachers in two rural Montana schools that have adopted the Summit Learning platform and maintained its use into the pandemic. Participants of this study taught core courses, such as math, science, and history. Results of this study indicate a high level of curriculum modification and support from leadership. Participants reported modified changes to the Summit Learning curriculum ranging from slight changes to significant changes based on individual participant’s perception of what students should and should not learn. Additionally, all participants reported the importance of leadership supporting curriculum changes and general classroom autonomy throughout the adoption and employment of Summit Learning. The results of this study inform the growing scholarship related to online learning platforms.



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