Compass Learning Classroom Heroes | Classroom Hero – Mary Groom

Mary Groom

High School Teacher and Technology Coordinator

The da Vinci Institute (K-12 charter school)

Jackson, Michigan

Nominated By: Kim Norton, da Vinci Curriculum and Assessment Coordinator

“Our district had been using a different online learning curriculum,” explains nominator and district Curriculum and Assessment Coordinator Kim Norton. “Mary found that students were cheating with that system very easily, and that the content was delivered in such a mundane fashion that students were not interested.”

The district purchased CompassLearning Odyssey® over the summer, and Mary began the work of learning a new system. She has been using Odyssey with da Vinci high school students for the 2013 fall semester.


Mary is the proctor for several online learning course periods. On a daily basis, she assists students with whatever course they may be signed up for. Some students have continued to work on one course over the semester. Others have been able to complete more than one course. Some of these courses are taken as credit recovery and others are taken as a way to move through some elective courses more quickly than the seat time that a regular class requires.


Mary has seen a variety of student responses to Odyssey in her classes. One student noted significant improvement in the presentation of the curriculum. He was far more interested in completing tasks with Odyssey than with other online curriculum. Students also have been completing courses at a faster than usual rate because Odyssey offers students the ability to complete quizzes and tests at home and not just in school.


“It appears to be much more difficult to cheat using Odyssey rather than other online tools,” says Norton. “And, for those motivated students who want to complete elective credits ahead of the pace of other students, Odyssey allows them the freedom to move ahead and remain challenged.”


“Mary has been given time to work at learning Odyssey and/or setting up specific da Vinci courses on an as needed basis,” Norton continues. “She has been allowed to call in a trainer and/or set up phone training with Compass Learning personnel as frequently as she requested it. Often, however, she has gone above and beyond in giving her own time to accomplish many of these tasks. Odyssey staff members were a huge help. They have answered Mary’s questions on a daily basis and have been available whenever needed. Their patience and skill at explaining process and procedure have been most helpful.


“Mary led the bandwagon to look for a new and improved program,” concludes Norton. “She has put in countless hours, many on her own time, to learn the best way to implement Odyssey at our school. She has set up phone calls, training, and follow-up conversations weekly. She has worked tirelessly to ensure that our students have the best online learning opportunity possible!”