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

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SimTutor "steps" for your learners

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

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

Here’s what you need to know:

Image sequence step

An image sequence allows the learner to scroll through a series of images, with the goal of selecting the “correct” image(s) in that series to pass the step.

For example, if a learner was being shown how to set the correct settings on a pressurized tool, they might have an image sequencing step that requires them to click and drag the selection to the correct pressure setting.

Recommended uses include:

  • Finding the right angle of a tool.
  • Choosing the correct distance of an object.
  • Moving an object in one particular direction.

Picture swap step

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 trained 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.

Recommended 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.

Randomizer step

The randomizer step does what it says on the box: it presents 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”.


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.

Recommended uses include:

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

Looking for a recap on the basics? Head over to our previous blog that covered the more simple steps, or get in touch with a SimTutor representative for personalized advice.

About the author


SimTutor is a global leader in simulation-based learning.

SimTutor Author is an authoring tool designed to help you build interactive procedural simulations for healthcare, medical education and other industries where immersive training is critical.