4 SimTutor "Steps" That Work Best for Learners

Leverage the power of SimTutor Author's "steps" for your learners


What are SimTutor "Steps" and Which Will Work Best for Your Learners? (Advanced)

Our last blog covered the basic SimTutor Author steps that you can access in the app, but that’s only the beginning of what our software can offer.

This very brief tutorial on the more advanced options will allow you to create more effective, more immersive and more holistic training simulations, ensuring you avoid a poorly-designed education experience.

Here’s what you need to know:

How the Image Sequence Step Works

An Image Sequence step allows the learner to scroll back and forth through a series of related images with the goal of selecting the “correct” image(s) in that series to pass the step. A well-designed Image Sequence step will give the impression of being able to scroll forwards and backwards through a short video sequence. 

For example, if a trainee needed to learn how to set the correct settings on a pressurized tool, you might use an image sequencing step that requires them to click and drag the marker to the correct pressure setting.

Common uses of an Image Sequence step include:

  • finding the right angle of a tool or instrument, e.g. choosing the correct angle to insert a syringe for a certain type of injection
  • identifying the correct object or image, e.g. in ultrasound, finding the baby's head in the sonogram
  • choosing the correct distance of an object from another
  • inserting an item to the correct depth
  • moving an object in one particular direction, e.g. a needle on a dial.

How the Picture Swap Step Works

A Picture Swap step allows you to add an additional layer of interactivity over the top of a regular hotspot step. When a learner hovers over a certain part of the step, another image is displayed on another part of the screen - reactive to where the user is hovering at the time. 

For example, a learner getting tutelage in the use of a band saw might be presented with a choice of three different saw blades and a scenario where they need to cut a specific material. They hover over each blade, and the image swap displays information about each blade. They then click on their choice using the hotspot-like step functionality.

Common uses include:

  • providing additional relevant information during a hotspot-integrated test
  • displaying extra information during a lesson without overloading the current screen
  • providing a tooltip for more complex hotspot exercises
  • showing the images obtained by a camera or other device during an assessment.

How the Randomizer Step Works

The Randomizer step does what it says on the box: it allows the trainer to present the learner with a random step selected from a range of previously created steps. It is unlike other steps in that there is no interactivity built into the step itself. Rather, it acts as a "forwarding function’" You can use this to create an unpredictable or re-usable simulation.

For example, you might want to create a simulation that tests a salesperson’s reactions to a query from a prospect. These queries are randomized (through the Randomizer step) every time the simulation is run, ensuring that a) the learner can’t simply rote-learn the exercise and b) the simulation can be re-used multiple times by the same learner.

Recommended uses include:

  • randomizing the order of questions in an examination simulator
  • testing reactions to unpredictable events
  • avoiding simulations that can be “taught to the test”.

How the Console Step Works

The Console step is similar to the Hotspot step. However, rather than drawing a hotspot on an existing image on the step, the console overlays images to be used as hotspots.

Common uses include:

  • Creating consoles
  • Creating menus
  • Creating any step that has buttons


Contact SimTutor Today for a Demo

That summarizes the more advanced step types. Looking for a teacher recap on the basics? Head over to our previous blog article that covered the more simple steps, or get in touch with a SimTutor representative for personalized advice on educating and instructing stakeholders.


About the author


SimTutor Inc is a global leader in simulation-based learning.

SimTutor Author is an authoring tool designed to help you build interactive procedural simulations and branched scenarios for any industry where realistic, just-in-time, measurable training is critical. 

SIMTICS is a library of ready-to-use simulations for learning medical and healthcare procedures and skills, powered by SimTutor Author.