Service & Support
On this page you will find the help center with all FAQs and the most important support information as well as the download area with further materials on our business simulations.
The Most Important Questions & Answers About Business Games
In our help center you can find answers to the most frequently asked questions about our business simulations, the technical aspects and the possible seminar design. In addition, you can learn more about our events for future instructors and TOPSIM – support.
What are business simulations/games?
Business simulations, also called business games, are a gamified learning method. As the name suggests, this type of learning is about applying and expanding existing knowledge in a hands-on and risk-free way.
In simulations, participants take over the management role of a virtual company. Over the course of several financial years, they have to make strategic and operational decisions, manage teams in the various company divisions, and always keep an eye on the competition in the market. In the evaluation reports of each round, the participants can see the effects of their decisions on the success of their company. They develop a feeling for the internal and external factors that influence the economic performance of a company.
Thanks to changing scenarios and a variety of decision-making situations, participants are constantly presented with new challenges. This way, holistic thinking is enhanced, and hard and soft skills are trained. Through these (virtual) experiences, our simulations offer a high degree of transferable knowledge and skills.
You can find more information in our video “What are business simulations”
How do I choose the right business simulation?
Below we have listed the most important factors to consider as of our experience:
- How many people will attend the seminar/training?
- What previous knowledge do the participants have? Do they need to be brushed on a topic, taught, or refreshed?
- Which learning outcomes do you want to focus on?
- In what way should the simulation be delivered? Classroom, online or blended learning?
How much time do I need to plan for a simulation-based seminar?
The business game seminar can be individually adapted to your framework and goals. In the brief descriptions of our simulations, you can read how many periods (corresponding to one business year in the simulation) the respective business game covers. Depending on the complexity level, players need up to 90 minutes to make the decisions for the respective periods. How long the seminar finally lasts depends on the way it is used (see possible uses) and the prior knowledge of the participants, the scope of the additional tasks and the theoretical input.
Our team will be happy to develop the concept for your seminar together with you.
What is the difference between single-player and multi-player modes?
In multi-player mode teams compete against other teams. The time frame is determined by the seminar instructor. Classroom, online and blended learning formats are ideal for this. This mode offers the following advantages: high motivation through the competition, exciting group dynamics, learning content can be adjusted to the periods and a targeted evaluation of the results by the instructor is possible.
In single-player mode, participants play against computer-controlled competitors. This works both in a team and individually. Single-player mode gives players the opportunity to determine their learning speed independently of the seminar instructor and to repeat the game if necessary. In single-player mode, there is relatively little supervision required, so it is also particularly suitable for online and blended learning formats.
Please check out our blog for more information.
Use of business simulations at schools, universities or for corporate learning
At schools, colleges and universities our business simulations are used to help students apply theory in a hands-on way. Depending on the level of complexity, business games can be used as an introduction to studies, as a capstone course towards the end of studies, or as elective modules at any time. At schools, business games are suitable for final-year classes or for use at vocational schools. Most of the simulation games relate to business and economics topics but can also be used with non-business students. The seminar can be individually adapted to your course thanks to our online platform. You can add further tasks to the seminar and, if necessary, also grade the business game seminar,
In the corporate education, business games are often used for onboarding and training employees. You can also use business games to recruit trainees for your company or to train managers. Our business games promote hard and soft skills, team dynamics and an interdisciplinary understanding of the different areas of a company.
What are the system requirements?
The majority of our business simulations can be played in the TOPSIM – Cloud. This means you do not need any special software or technical know-how to play these simulations. To get the most out of the TOPSIM – Cloud, we recommend using Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome. Otherwise, TOPSIM – Cloud is not dependent on the device or operating system. We recommend playing the simulation on a tablet, laptop or desktop PC; mobile view is not supported.
In the TOPSIM – Cloud you automatically receive the updates. If something does not work, please contact our support (see below).
Does every participant need a separate laptop?
If you are playing in single-player mode and each participant is playing on their own, they will need their own PC. However, if you are using the multiplayer mode in classroom format, it is sufficient if each team shares a device.
Since each participant receives a personalized access to the group account anyway, everyone can also use their own end device (laptop, PC or tablet). Decision-making is also possible from different locations with the help of the TOPSIM – Cloud.
How many participants can play in one team?
We recommend having three to five members per team to enhance the learning effect. However, this number can vary depending on the prior knowledge of the participants and the learning objective of the event.
A large number of players can be divided into up to 10 companies. If there are more than 10 teams, you have to consider playing on several markets simultaniously. The recommended number of participants for each business game can be found in the respective short descriptions.
Which languages are available?
Our business games are all available both in German and English. (Exception: TOPSIM – Hospital Management, which is only available in German, as it is specific to the German Healthcare Market)
How can I prepare myself for a simulation-based seminar as an instructor?
If you have never led a simulation-based course, we recommend participating in a train-the-trainer seminar. These trainings are supervised by experienced seminar instructors who explain the business games as well as typical questions in detail. Find out more under “Train-the-Trainer”.
An overview of the current training dates can be found here. Participation in a seminar instructor training is mandatory for the use of our support.
Do you provide demo accounts? What are the licensing options?
Classroom seminars take place as a classic face-to-face event. Teams and seminar instructors are on site and all play synchronously at the same time. Theory units, accompanying group tasks, decisions of the individual periods as well as evaluations by the seminar instructors alternate in the seminar. The event is usually held as a block seminar lasting several days and is particularly suitable for applying theoretical knowledge and using methods learned.
In blended learning concepts, the business game typically takes on the function of a dynamic case study and forms the common thread through a semester-long course. Blended learning seminars allow students to apply the theoretical methods learned.
In online concepts, the entire course takes place in distance learning, without a classroom component. Remote seminars and the business game are interlinked here. The business game is designed to motivate through interactivity and gamified learning. The strength of the concept lies in the high flexibility of the application and the good scalability of the number of participants, who can complete a business game together regardless of location.
You can find more information about these concepts on the TOPSIM – Blog.
Train the Trainer
What is a TOPSIM train the trainer course?
We offer these trainings for all instructors interested in designing a seminar with our simulations. You will get to know fields of application of our business games and learn more about seminar design and its conception. In addition, we go into more detail on the methodology of our simulations and didactic aspects. Specific simulation contents (business and industry related) as well as simulation usage and its functions will also be discussed. Furthermore, we give you a detailed overview of the TOPSIM – Cloud interface.
Due to the current situation, the seminar instructor trainings are only held online and are limited to 8 participants. We hope to be able to conduct our trainings again with 10 participants on site in Tübingen soon.
How can I register for a training?
All current dates of our seminar instructor trainings can be found on the Events page. There you can select the training with the business game you are interested in and register. We currently offer trainings in German, if you are interested in an individual training in English, please contact us!
The training I wanted to attend is sold out, what should I do?
If the training is fully booked, please send us an email to [email protected] and we will put you on the waiting list. This way, we can still invite you to the desired training in case of a cancellation.
How much does it cost to participate?
The fee for a seminar instructor training is 300,00 € plus VAT per participant. University lecturers and teachers pay a discounted price of 150,00 € plus VAT.
Who do I contact if I have questions during a seminar?
If you have any questions, you can reach us via e-mail ([email protected]) or phone (+49 7071 7942 13). Prerequisite for the use of the support is the participation in a seminar instructor training.
When can I reach the TOPSIM support hotline?
We offer support within our opening hours 8:30-17:00.
If you are planning a seminar on Saturday or outside the opening hours, please notify our team two weeks in advance (via email to [email protected] to ensure that one of our TOPSIM – experts is available for you.
Do you provide support to participants in a seminar?
We do not offer support for participants in a TOPSIM seminar. If you have any questions about the simulation, please always contact your seminar instructor.
What information should I have ready when contacting the hotline?
It is helpful if you have the SeminarID (number is displayed at the top of the seminar instructor interface), your email or the name of the administrator ready. With this information, we can connect directly to your interface and answer your questions as quickly as possible.
Download Area: Keeping You Updated
Here you will find further information about TOPSIM and our products. Get a detailed look at our business simulation portfolio or download our latest whitepaper.
How We Can Support Your Seminar
Online learning was gaining traction even before the Covid-19 turned our lives upside down. In this article we would like to introduce you to a few tools for digital teaching that can support you in the design of your lectures, seminars and exercises!
The COVID-19 pandemic made everyone work and learn from home, but also gave us the chance to try out new methods. In this article, we present the e-testing plattform Cybertest from MPS Europa, which you can use to easily switch to online exam formats.
By running through several simulation periods, making strategic management decisions and competing with other teams they expand their knowledge and improve skills such as teamwork and communication within the group. To ensure that the participants can process the experiences, thorough reflection phases after group tasks are particularly important. We have prepared 6 questions for you to ask your participants during the debriefing.