10 Top Hat Strategies for Active Learning

Top Hat is an online ed tech tool that provides for active learning beyond the multiple choice “clicker” question. Below, you’ll find 10 activities to implement using Top Hat — from taking attendance and posing basic multiple choice questions to creating metacognitive “wrappers” that help build engagement and foster learning.

1. Attendance

Top Hat can be used to take attendance. Simply click on the Attendance icon at the top of the presentation screen before beginning your presentation.

2. Summative Assessment

Top Hat can be used for graded activities, such as multiple-choice quizzes. We advise that Top Hat be reserved for low-stakes assessments.

3. Formative Assessment

Top Hat can be used to pose questions to students and collect their answers for the purpose of providing real-time information about student learning to both the instructor and the students. Students can use this feedback to monitor their own learning, and instructors can use it to change how they manage class “on the fly” in response to student learning needs. Some instructors assign participation grades to these kinds of formative assessments to encourage students to participate. Other instructors assign points for correct answers to encourage students to take these questions more seriously. Other instructors do a mix of both, assigning partial credit for wrong answers.

4. Homework Collection

Through the Review feature of Top Hat, students can record their answers to multiple-choice or free response homework questions and submit their answers via Top Hat outside of class. In addition, instructors can use the Pages feature of Top Hat to create high quality, multi-media content for review. Such content can be constructed with text, in-line questions, and videos all in one page.

5. Discussion Warm-Up

Posing a question, giving students time to think about it and record their answers via Top Hat, and then displaying the results can be an effective way to warm a class up for a class-wide discussion.This approach gives all students time to think about and commit to an answer, setting the stage for greater discussion participation.

Continue reading