Welcome to SimTutor Author! This help page is dedicated to taking you through the essentials – the things you need to know so you can start working on your own specific training needs such as making your PowerPoints interactive, or simulating a more complex procedural task and anywhere in between!
The Step Types
A simulation (or Sim for short) is a learning module that is made from a series of steps that link to one another. You can create linear simulations (e.g. step 1 -> step 2 -> step 3 etc.) or incorporate branching to make the learning more immersive (e.g. step 1 could go to either step 2 or step 3, depending on the learner's answer).
Some steps are static, such as displaying information in an image or a video; and some are interactive, requiring input from the learner in order for them to proceed.
In the editor, head over to the “Add Step” button, and you’ll see the list of step-types that we offer:
You can think of each step like a slide in a PowerPoint file, but each has its own specific function. We’ll briefly go through the four most used step-types right now:
You can think of the Cover step-type as a title page or any non-interactive image that displays to the learner. The user simply needs to click anywhere on the screen to move to the next step.
You can add interactivity to an image by using the Hotspot Step. This step allows you to create clickable zones on your image that mark the correct area of the screen, where you’d like your learners to click on or place a tool.
The Quiz step will allow you to write a question, and type in one or more possible answers to that question; plus any wrong answers you’d like.
Finally, Video Steps allow you to upload short videos into your simulation to break up the content.
Each of these step-types have additional functions and options, which we cover in detail here, along with the rest of the step-types:
An important note to remember is that content that is used within the steps needs to be made outside of SimTutor using any of your content authoring tools you already know. If you're new to this type of thing, we recommend PowerPoint for generating, editing and saving images, and whatever your favorite video editing software is if you choose to use video. PowerPoint is also a great place to annotate photos, or even create learning content from scratch. We have an easy PowerPoint file upload feature. Learn more about this here:
The Planning Tool
This is an optional, different view of your simulation which focuses more on the flow of the steps in the Sim - giving you a visual way to see how each step is linked to one another. Steps and branching can be created and edited here, but you'll need to move back to the authoring view when you are ready to add media to the steps. Both the authoring view and planning view are synchronized, so any change you make in one view will reflect in the other.
The library is where all the content you upload into your simulation is stored.
Media you've uploaded into your library can easily be dragged and dropped into the relevant step types.
The library is simulation-specific, but you can transfer content across Sims using the Global Library tool.
Once you have completed your simulation, you can publish it and share it with colleagues to review or with your users.
You can choose to publish your simulation in either Learn or Test mode. Find out what this means here: