A peek behind the scenes!


Ever wondered what goes in to creating our SIMTICS modules?

We thought you’d like to take a peek behind the scenes, to find out what we get up to when we’re creating new education modules. We’ve got two projects coming to completion right now – Dental Assisting and Basic Life Support (BLS/CPR), and these new product suites will be available in December and February, respectively.

The entire SIMTICS team is based in different countries, so it’s not often that more than two of us are in the same town (let alone the same room!) so it’s been really great for some of the team to get together recently to produce the video and image segments of the soon-to-be-released modules.

The photo above shows our camera operator, Graham Elliot, and our Medical Advisor, Craige Mayo, working on the Basic Life Support (BLS) Infant module.

For filming, the BLS project has been centred in Auckland, New Zealand, while the physical focal point for the Dental Assisting project has been St Louis, Missouri, USA. Other than the filming, all of the other work has been done virtually and team members from across both countries – and India – have worked on both projects using technology to communicate and collaborate.

The BLS suite comprises three modules, covering the procedures for adult, child and infant patients. The editorial team have completed the text and quizzes for all 3 modules, the illustrations and anatomy models are ready, thanks to the graphics team, and there are two film shoots left to go, which will take place in January. After that the videos must be edited, and various multimedia components compiled in order to build the simulations – 3 scenarios in each module.

We are also excited about the launch of our entirely new Dental Assisting suite. We noticed there was a real shortage of online training resources for this field of study, and we wanted to do something about that! The team have worked around the clock over the past few months to create a set of chairside and radiology skills modules plus 4 comprehensive review modules, that include rich information to explore, with engaging and interactive simulations that will bring the topics and skills to life. As with all of our modules, they are designed to help students learn and practice the important clinical skills for Dental Assisting and then test their knowledge of them, before they do hands-on training in a clinical lab or dental office.

This photo was taken by Shelly Zimbelman during one of our filmshoots in St Louis, Missouri, with two real-life dental assistants playing the DA and the patient, plus our local film crew. Would you have liked to be the person playing the role of the patient in this scene? (Not me!)

Now that we’re in the final stages of building these new modules, I thought I’d ask the team to reflect a little on their experience of working on these two projects.

  • Dennis Nelson, a retired allied health professional and one of our writers in Auckland, New Zealand, has enjoyed the sense of teamwork: “Even though we’re spread out physically, across countries, it’s like we are all in one office. And I’m excited that our BLS simulations will enable people to review, rehearse and test their CPR skills whenever they need or want to, without having to wait 2 years for a hands-on training course.”
  • St Louis-based Jill Kraleman, another of our writers (as well as being our Customer Service and Training Coordinator), is excited for when the project is complete: “The new Dental Assisting modules will be like nothing else out there. I’m excited to see how people will react to this new product that we’re building.”
  • Kylie May, our video production lead based in Tauranga, New Zealand, has done a huge amount of detailed planning for each filmshoot: “I’m especially proud of seeing the visuals that we planned on paper come to life on screen, and then in the product itself.”
  • Amol Walanj in Auckland, NZ, who gets involved in all parts of our content projects, showed his typical sense of humor in his response: “The best thing so far has been learning dentistry on the go. I’m (almost) ready to drill holes in teeth!”
  • Shelly Zimbelman in St Louis, who’s been overseeing the editorial side of the projects, used to be an allied health instructor and program director, and she knows first-hand the value of the SIMTICS simulation-based product: “SIMTICS is a game changer for many learners, offering them the opportunity to practice skills anywhere, perfect those skills, become confident, and understand the entire process of a procedure from set-up to completion.”
  • Beth Miller, based in Tennessee and another of our writers says: “The best thing so far has been the opportunity to collaborate with such a talented and passionate team of educators and medical and dental professionals. It’s inspiring to know that we’re creating an innovative product which will help students worldwide to direct their learning, and achieve their professional dreams.
  • And Gary Collins, our programme manager, based at the southern end of beautiful Lake Taupo in New Zealand, probably summed up everyone’s feelings when he said, “It’s fun to be involved in an organization that has leading-edge products, and I’m excited about the market’s reaction to both our new Dental Assisting and Basic Life Support suites when they’re released.”

We really hope you enjoy using our product as much as our internationally distributed team enjoys designing and putting each module together!

Contact us any time if you’d like to know more about these new products, or to ask us any question at all.


About Author

SIMTICS is a product of SimTutor Inc. SIMTICS is a library of simulation-based content which enables cognitive learning & testing of medical, clinical and allied health skills anytime, anywhere. Its multi-media cognitive simulations are integrated with 3D anatomy, quiz, video and text, putting all the resources the learner needs in one place, at their fingertips. Like an "online flight simulator for clinical procedures”, SIMTICS de-risks the learning experience and allows learners to practice and rehearse as often as required to build competence and confidence. SimTutor has a a second product, SimTutor Author, a cost effective and intuitive eLearning authoring tool. It requires no coding experience to rapidly build learning objects using existing content including videos, illustrations, photos and slides that you already have on-hand, and bring them to life as interactive and gradable simulations. If you don’t have the content you need, you can quickly create a PowerPoint file, upload it and use SimTutor’s unique authoring features to create all types of eLearning from simple interactions to immersive simulated scenario-based training.

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