Quick Start Guide

Welcome to SIMnet, please review the Quick Start Guide to get started with SIMnet.

Welcome to using SIMnet as your learning and assessment solution for Microsoft ® Office, Windows, browsers, file management, and computer concepts. SIMnet is a completely online, simulated Microsoft Office and Windows environment with custom content that correlates to many popular textbooks. Projects in SIMnet are live-in-the-application, automatically graded assignments to supplement your course content.

SIMnet Technical Requirements

Since SIMnet is 100% online there are very few actual requirements to run SIMnet successfully. Be sure to run the Systems Requirements Test to ensure optimum performance. The most up-to-date requirements can always be found at 👉 System Requirements Check.

Project assignments have additional software requirements depending upon whether your students are using SIMnet for Office 2016, Office 365/2019 or Office Online. Project assignments require that the user's 👉 Operating System Region is set to English (US) or English (CA). To view more detail on Project Assignment vist the 👉 Project Requirements.

Many SIMnet users access SIMnet via Mac or Chromebook. Some users access Microsoft Office content, like the Access application via Windows Virtual Machine. For more information about using SIMnet outside of Windows visit 👉 Getting Started Guide.

🗺️ Getting Started

This guide will help you understand the basics of using SIMnet as an instructor. First, let’s explore where you can access vital information as you use SIMnet.

pageExploring SIMnet

After logging in to the Course Manager, you will see the SIMstudent, Help, and Blog links in the top right corner of the screen.


SIMstudent is the instructor’s student view. This view allows instructors to see exactly what a student enrolled in the class will see. Instructors must be listed as an instructor to see the student view for a specific class. Visit our topic on 👉SIMstudent for details.

Instant Help

Help includes detailed help topics including animated videos. Instant help is contextual so that you can easily access information regarding the process you are using at the time you access help.

pageCourse Manager - Instant Help


All SIMnet changes are catalogued month by month. These changes may be simple, like an additional alternate formula string for an Excel project, or they may be complex, like the semi-annual O365 Update. Those changes are available on our 👉 Changelog.

👩‍🏫 Overview of Instructors

Only Administrators and Campus Administrators can create, edit, and delete instructors. Other account types do not see the Instructors option in the navigation menu.

Instructor Roles and Permissions

There are five instructor roles in the SIMnet Course Manager. Each of these roles provides different access and capabilities. For example, Administrators create other Administrators and Instructors and have full access to all classes, lessons, and exams. Full Instructors can do everything an Administrator can do except modify administrative settings, create other instructors and edit other instructors' materials. Limited Instructors can only create lessons and exams from templates. The types of instructor roles are listed below.

  1. Administrator and Campus Administrator

  2. Full Instructor

  3. Limited Instructor

  4. Assistant

  5. Inactive Instructor (Prevents login to Course Manager)

pageRoles & Permissions

🏛️ Creating a Class

To create a class, click the Classes section on the left side of the Course Manager and click create. Name the class, assign the appropriate instructors, and your class is created. Be sure you are consistent when naming classes and be sure you include the school term, the name of the class and the course number.

pageCreate Classes

Class Management Best Practices

Each class in SIMnet has a unique class title. A section title may be added as well as a campus assignment. It has its own set of assignments and schedule independent of the other classes. To ensure consistency for multiple classes, or multiple sections of the same class, a class may have already been created with assignments and exams for you to use as an instructor.

pageNew SemesterspageNaming Conventions

Creating and Assigning Lessons, SIMbooks, and Projects

In general:

  • If you created the object, you can edit, copy, and delete it.

  • If you did not create the object, you cannot edit or delete it, but if your account has proper permissions, you can make a copy which is then yours.

  • If you did not create the object, and it is not assigned to one of your classes, it does not appear in your list of lessons or exams.

  • You can only create lessons from exams if you have the right to create lessons and vice versa.

📚 Content Types

In SIMnet, students can learn from Lessons, SIMbooks, Projects, Exams and Resources. For an overview of all SIMnet content types,

pageContent Types

Lessons and SIMbooks

Lessons contain instructional, interactive, simulated exercises with content that is mapped to modules or textbooks. Each lesson includes exercises called Show Me, Guide Me, and Let Me Try. These contain generic content addressing specific skill sets, but they do not exactly match a textbook. Lessons must be created based on a module, textbook, template, or another lesson before being assigned to a class. Completion of each lesson can be linked to a gradebook column.

pageCreate Lessons

SIMbooks are electronic versions of some McGraw-Hill book series that include chapters with links to Show Me, Guide Me, and Let Me Try interactive, simulated exercises. These exercises directly correlate with the skill set addressed in each portion of each chapter of the textbook. Instructors that use SIMbooks do not need to add simulated, interactive training… it is already included in each chapter. Completion of each SIMbook chapter can be linked to a gradebook column.

pageEdit/Assign SIMbooks


With projects, students download files, complete assignments live in the application, and submit them for grading. SIMnet automatically grades projects based on a rubric. Projects are included in SIMnet and can be assigned to a class.

pageEdit/Assign Projects


SIMnet exams come in two types - the Exam which uses simulated application environments to ask students to demonstrate practical knowledge of each application and the Testbank Exam which uses multiple choice and True/False questions to ask students to demonstrate the ability to select the correct response. To create an Exam, click the Exam section on the left side of the Course Manager and click Create. Choose the type of exam at the top and name the exam. You will then add content to the exam based on filters such as Module, Textbook, Template, etc. and assign the exam to a class. Please note that instructors have access to test banks from all McGraw-Hill textbooks where test banks are available for that textbook.

pageCreate Exams


Resource assignments are created directly by the instructor. They may be hyperlinks to instructor materials or a file that can be downloaded and completed like a SIMnet Project assignment.

pageCreate Resource

Lessons, SIMbooks, Projects, and Exams - Best Practices

  • Provide students with multiple attempts to complete projects. Students should be able to submit a project and, based on the feedback provided by SIMnet, correct errors and resubmit the project for grading. This will alleviate student anxiety and allow for an improved learning experience.

  • Display the solution PDF on the assignment panel so that students have a visual of what the project should look like when it is finished.

  • When selecting content for both exams and lessons be sure to filter by both Textbook and Chapter. This will logically sequence the questions or tasks as they appear in the textbook.

  • Only the SIMnet textbook contains coverage of all questions and tasks. Many SIMnet questions and tasks aren’t covered in all textbooks. If you are creating a lesson or exam and can’t find the skill you want through the textbook filter, try switching to the “by Module” filter.

  • Filtering by Module provides access to all questions and tasks; however, the questions and tasks are in alphabetical order and not logically sequenced.

  • The best way to create a Scenario B exam from a Scenario A exam (and vice versa) is to use the Create Scenario B Exam (or Create Scenario A Exam) feature from the Actions menu. This feature creates a one-to-one copy of exam questions from the practice scenario.

  • The best way to create a Lesson from an Exam is to use the Create Lesson feature from the Actions menu. This feature creates a lesson populated with all tasks that cover the exam questions. 👉Create Lesson from Exam

🔎 Viewing Student Submissions

There are many methods of viewing student assignments, changing student grades, and tracking student progress in SIMnet. Here is a way to review results to get you started. To view student results, click on Students on the left side of the Course Manager screen. Then search for the student based on the filters at the top of the screen (username, ID, First Name, Last Name). Click the Actions menu to the right of the student’s name and choose Student Report.

The student report displays activity for the student for each type of assignment. Click the tab at the top for the assignment type you want to view.

Lessons and SIMbooks

To view Lesson results, click the Lessons tab. To view SIMbook results, click the SIMbooks tab. Click the underlined result that you wish to view. You will see a list of the tasks as well as the tasks the student has completed and the date and time completed. This view also includes the ability to Preview a task. Instructors can choose Toggle Complete on any task to award or remove credit for each task.

pageLesson, SIMbook Result

An instructor can also use the right arrow to the left of a task to expand it for more details on the student’s activities. This view includes time spent on each part of the task as well as the number of times the student completed it.


Click the Exams tab to view a student’s Exams submission. You will be able to view each attempt for each exam as well as the time spent on the exam, the date and time submitted, the points received, the percentage grade, and the status. You can also use this view to delete a student’s project submission. To view details of a particular exam submission, click on the linked (underlined) name of the exam.

pageExam Results


Click the Projects tab to view a student’s Projects submission. You will be able to view each attempt for each project as well as the time spent on the project, the date and time submitted for grading, the points received, the percentage grade, and the status. You can also use this view to delete a student’s project submission.

Clicking on the linked (underlined) name of a submitted project allows an instructor to view details of the submission as well as edit a student’s grade on any step in the project.

pageProject Results

🏅 Digital Credentials

SIMnet provides Digital Credentials, a digital certificate of achievement, for completing particular SIMnet assignments either completely or with a particular score. Students can take their digital credentials forth, making them part of their future resume.

pageDigital Credentials

📊 Using the Gradebook

The Gradebook provides instructors with tools for viewing student grades, changing the ways in which grades are calculated and displayed, as well as means to change the grades manually. There is one gradebook per class.

Gradebook columns are automatically created as assignments are assigned to classes by checking the Show Column in Gradebook option in the SIMbook Assignment Details dialog box. This option is checked by default.

  • View a Gradebook: Click Gradebook on the left side of the Course Manager screen and choose a class.

  • Changing a Grade: Select any grade in the gradebook and key the new grade in the Points text box. Click Apply.

  • Grade History: Select any grade in the gradebook and click the Click to load grade history button.

  • Grade Report: Select any grade, click Click to load grade history, and click the Report button. This report allows you to award or deduct points for as well as preview individual tasks/questions.

pageGradebook View

Gradebook Defaults

Please note that the gradebook defaults to display percentages and averages. Change the default before you assign activities to a class so that all activities assigned automatically display the type of grade you wish. If you wait until after activities are assigned, you will have to change each gradebook column individually.

pageDefault Settings


In SIMnet, reports are actually saved report queries that will automatically update each time you view the report. There is no need to recreate the report every time you want an update. There is a wide variety of reports available in SIMnet.

pageReport Types

🗃️ Archiving Best Practices

Instead of deleting exams, lessons, SIMpaths, and classes at the end of the semester, it is best to archive them instead. Archiving items simply removes them from all lists within the Course Manager. Archived exams, lessons, SIMpaths, and classes can easily be un-archived. Deleting any item cannot easily be reversed.


🆘 Support Options and Resources

For an overview on all of the support options review the 👉 Contacting Support topic.

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