A cover step is used to display a still image for the learner - much like a slide in a PowerPoint
This simple step can have many uses, a few of which being...
- Title Pages
- Contents Pages
- Information Steps
- A step to host External URL's
For optimal results, images for this step should be created outside of SimTutor on programs such as PowerPoint, Photoshop, paint.net, etc.
Here is a quick guide to creating a simple cover step. Look out for our other articles on the cover step for more advanced features.
1. Click the "+ Add Step" Button.
2. Click on "Cover."
3. Give your Cover Step a name so that you can can distinguish the step in editor mode. This step name is not displayed to the learner - only for your reference. You must have a step name before you can add the step.
4. Upload an image by dragging and dropping one from your computer, dragging and dropping from the library, or clicking "Browse for files" and selecting the desired file. These images can be ether .png or .jpg. At this stage, GIF images are not supported by cover steps.
5. Change the instructions the learner will see, how long they will see those instructions before they auto hide, and the position of the instructions box on the screen. For at least the first cover step, it is a good idea to tell the learner that they must click anywhere to proceed to the next step. Changing the positions of the instructions is a good idea to avoid the instructions covering up any important part of your cover step image.
6. Click "Add" to save and add the step to your Sim. It's thumbnail will now show up on the left bar.
Read this article for more customization features for the Cover Step. Featuring: Audio Overlay, Visual Settings, Timed Transitions, Branching, and Learner Titles & Descriptions
Under the additional details tab, you can upload a .mp3 file to the Cover Step that will begin playing once the step loads. This can be of any length, but the learner can move on at any time. This audio can be paused, fast forwarded, or rewinded by the learner. If they choose to continue to the next step (by clicking on the screen), the audio will stop and the next step will show.
This feature can be great for narrations - giving a bit more detail than whats on the image. It also helps with learners that have trouble reading, or where English might not be a primary language.
This is the area where you can change the colors featured within this specific step. These colors can be set using the color picker, or you can input a hexadecimal value to get the precise color you need.
The background color will change the area behind the background image (usually the far left and far right sections if using a widescreen monitor) to whichever color you wish. We recommend keeping this color pretty neural, as to not distract the learner from the more relevant image in the middle of the screen. Another good color to use if applicable, is the color of your background image. This works when you have a solid plain background for your background image, so the sides (background color) of the screen merge seamlessly with the background image.
The instructions font color changes the color of the font featured in the instructions box, whereas the background, to no ones surprise, changes the background color of said box. These two colors should have enough contrast so you can distinguish the text from the background.
The visibility of the step is for when you want to hide the step from the viewer, but not fully delete it. All navigation to and from this step will be disabled while hidden - it is effectively deleted except not permanent.
Lastly, making the instruction box transparent gives you to the option to have part of the background image that was behind the instructions box to show but in a low opacity.
Under the navigation settings of the Cover Step, we have a new feature that will force the learner to automatically proceed to the next step after a given amount of seconds. Leaving this box blank will mean the learner must define when they wish to proceed.
This dropdown allows you to select a step in your sim that the Cover Step will branch to once complete (learner clicks anywhere on the image). This is useful for situations such as when you are going down different branching scenarios, or need to track back to direct the learner to learn a section of information. Check out more on branching in the branching section of the knowledge base.
Learner Titles & Descriptions
The title and description in the navigation settings are the text that WILL show for the learner when they are using the navigation bar in learn or test mode. The title can be useful when the learner needs to navigate so they can see what step they are navigating to without having to click. You can turn these titles on for your learners to see in your accounts settings (click your name or the three lines at the top right). The description shows for the step the learner is currently on when they hover over the navigation bar.
Adding a URL link can be useful for allowing the user to visit external sites (for things such as downloading additional documents/files, or finding out more information about the subject matter).
1. Once you have addd a cover step, hit the actions button.
2. Select the "Insert an image" option
3. Upload the image into the box shown in the first image below. The image should be something clickable so that the learner knows that they should click on it, such as the second image below.
4. Once uploaded, you can check the constrain proportions button and set the image to the exact pixel dimension you desire. Don't worry about this step too much, as you can adjust the dimensions using your mouse in the next step. Click save.
5. You can now drag to move/resize the image to the desired place. For keeping the aspect ratio of the image the same, hold the shift key when resizing. Once happy with the positioning, you can add the hyperlink to the image by hitting the properties icon.
6. Click on the image properties. Here is where you can input your URL destination and if the click will open in the current window the learner is on (not suggested) or if it will open in a new window (suggested) alongside some formatting settings.
(When setting the URL location, Ensure that your url bar includes the "https://" e.g. https://www.google.com)
7. Click the save icon, and then preview your cover step to test that it is working as you intended.