Instructional Approach

Sound Pedagogy Promotes Student Success

The core of the Odysseyware® online learning program is a robust course library of standards-aligned, dynamic and pedagogically sound curriculum. The curriculum is designed to empower students to build proficiency, achieve content mastery, and engage in rich and challenging real world applications.

Evidence-Based Instructional Approach

The most effective and well-researched instructional principles are incorporated into our curriculum to provide an engaging and personalized learning environment for students. Odysseyware lessons share the following characteristics of research-based best practices and standards-based instruction:

  • Learning outcomes are defined by standards-aligned learning objectives
  • Lessons are divided into small learning units each with clearly defined objectives
  • Lessons may be customized by the teacher and individually assigned
  • Learning materials are identified and appropriate instructional strategies employed
  • Each unit includes formative and summative assessments that measure the student’s entry level knowledge and developing progress
  • Students receive immediate feedback to act as reinforcement and motivation

Our instructional designers leverage the Gradual Release of Responsibility model, emphasizing the development of logical learning paths that initially present learners with big-picture concepts and rich background knowledge. The model is then designed to systemically drill down to more granular, essential, and supporting standards, with generous opportunities for practice, deeper learning, and proof of mastery.

Focus Lesson, Guided Instruction, Collaborative, Independent

Using the Understanding by Design model of Wiggins and McTighe, along with models researched by Marzano, we develop courses using backward design with the outcomes in mind. The standards-aligned lessons, projects, and instructional tools establish the goals of the activity, provide background knowledge, present the learning objectives in a larger context, and introduce key academic vocabulary to prepare students for learning.

Audio definitions, vocabulary games, and interactive vocabulary supports and visual

Vocabulary words are selected based on academic and cross curricular word lists, as well as from the content area. Students interact with multiple representations, supporting best practices for vocabulary acquisition, such as audio definitions, vocabulary games, and interactive vocabulary supports and visuals.

Meeting the needs of all Learners

The curriculum is intentionally designed to be flexible in meeting the needs of all learners including struggling students, students in special education, English Language Learners, and students needing remediation or enrichment.

Embedded formative and summative assessments, scaffolded supports, and a balance of instructionally appropriate text and media elements, such as video, provide students with multimodal instruction to address diverse learning styles. Each video also includes a transcript that can be translated into 23 different languages.

The Odysseyware lesson design fosters ongoing collaboration between learners and teachers, enabling students to progress and practice at their own pace and receive support and guided instruction as needed. Teachers can also customize content to address specific learning goals and adjust instruction based on real-time reports that show how students are progressing through the material.

Engaging Multimedia Elements

The Odysseyware software uses engaging multimedia to support student learning across content areas. Direct instruction videos are 2-5 minutes in length, and students have the control to fast-forward, rewind, pause, and replay as many times as they want. Examples include interactive lab activities and inquiry-based science videos that provide students with real-world learning experiences using scientific principles. 

Algebra I

English I



The Odysseyware curriculum is aligned with both national and state standards, including Common Core State Standards. We start every content build with the applicable standards and use them in all phases of development to ensure that each course covers what it needs to address. The curriculum covers essential and supporting state standards, and aligns and integrates with research-based instructional design, best practices, and essential course requirements. 

Access to alignment and content coverage reports is available to customers as needed right in the Odysseyware platform. This extensive search function serves as the foundation for teachers to personalize and customize courses to meet student needs and instructional priorities.

In addition, the Odysseyware curriculum is regularly reviewed to update and confirm the relevancy and accuracy of our course content. We collaborate with leading experts who specialize in standards and alignments to review and approve our standard alignments. Odysseyware courses are submitted regularly for review and approval in meeting rigorous criteria, such as those requirements addressed as part of the University of California “a-g” course approval process for meeting college entrance requirements.


Courses include diagnostic, prescriptive, formative, and summative assessments. Assessments are aligned to Webb’s DOK levels, with an emphasis on levels 2, 3, and 4. Questions are aligned to specific sections of the lessons, promoting close reading of text and text evidence. We offer a dozen question types, as well as different technology-enhanced item types like drag and drop, multiple select, and constructed response to prepare students for next generation assessments. 

Several of our courses, such as our CTE courses, also include project-based assessments. These types of assessments are designed to extend student knowledge and understanding as they apply what they learn in real-world situations.