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    Instructor’s Synopsis for SimpleNS

    Introductory Notes

    This page contains key information for instructors using the SimpleNS system in their courses. The systems are used by students with very different backgrounds from all over the world. Inspire has been used in Negotiation Management, International Business, Electronic Commerce, Information Systems, Decision Sciences, and Management Science, courses as well as by students in English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. We have done our best to make the system functionally useful for training and testing while also making them attractive to students.

    The negotiators are paired anonymously and partners can be from anywhere across the world. We would appreciate it if you would not make any comments to the negotiators about anonymity or about partners. Each individual is implicitly free to develop whatever relationship he or she wishes, including introducing themselves to each other through Inspire or maintaining full anonymity. We should mention that we record students' exchanges for our study on cross-cultural communication and decision making. These records are kept confidential.

    Please note that:

    1. Negotiations are normally conducted each spring and fall, however, additional negotiations can be set up but it is subject to the user inventory.
    2. The SimpleNS negotiations normally take three days (extension is possible upon both negotiators' request).
    3. The deadline for accepting students' registration is 10 days before the beginning of negotiations.
    4. The instructor receives an email from the Invite system with the number of all registered students one week prior to the beginning of negotiations.
    5. A couple of days before the negotiations begin we send an email to students with their log in information.
    6. You may choose to include an assignment as part of the exercise; this is optional (more information on the assignment is given below.
    7. Please use Internet Explorer version 5 or above, Mozilla Firefox version 3, or Chrome 9 and higher.

    On-line Registration

    To register on-line, please fill in the Group Information Form.

    You will be asked to fill in the following fields:

    Preferred group name, country of your group, title of you organization (university), course ID and name (optional), instructor’s first and last name, number of members and the expected starting and ending dates of the negotiations and whether you wish to include an assignment. If you click on “Assignment” in the registration form, you will view a current example of an assignment that has been used.

    If you are a new user, once you register, the Inspire administrator will contact you via email for further details.

    Once you submit the form, you will receive an automatic email notification with a link, which you need to forward (the link) to your group members, so they can register themselves online.

    In the next section "Information required from your students" we provide information on what you need to tell your students and what they should do.

    You may find the SimpleNS negotiation materials, Handout, and FAQ sheet useful preparatory materials for you and your students when using SimpleNS.

    Information required from your students:

    All students participating in the negotiations should register themselves on-line by following the link sent to them by the instructor. This web form will display the group name already chosen by the instructor and they need only to fill in the following fields:

    1. User name (A single word without any special characters. Preferably not their real name, however anything is acceptable).
    2. Password
    3. Real name
    4. Email address

    We also ask several questions related to demographics which we collect for research purposes. We ask about: Gender, age, country of birth, and country of residence, how long in country of residence, mother tongue and English proficiency. This is followed by 4 questions related to knowledge and experience with negotiations.

    Please note that all login procedures are case sensitive. Shortly before the negotiations begin every registered student receives a confirmation email. This email contains the information required to log into the Inspire system (username, password, start and end dates of the negotiations). It may be good to remind your group members that they will not be able to log into the system prior to the start date of the negotiations.


    To date, the Centre has a number of different cases that can be used for negotiation simulations. Each case is designed for a specific purpose or treatment and in some cases, designed for a particular system (platform) that will be used. Below you will find a brief summary for each case. Instructors or researchers can decide which case will best suit their needs.

    Each case is comprised of 2 different sections. Public information is available to all parties in the negotiation and is usually quite general. Private information will be different for each case side and is available only to a specific party. Private information gives detailed information regarding preferences for the particular side. To help readers, this information is often given in different ways, in the text, in a table and also with a visual representation.

    Norocado Crop Case

    This case is about a bio-medical company called BioNet and the UN Forestry and Agriculture Agency (UNFAA). Both parties are interested in a plant called Norocado. The plant is very specialized, the crop size is not very big, it cannot be transplanted, and it can only produce fruits after 5 years. Both parties would very much like to acquire the plant.