Best Practices for Using Top Hat in Team Taught Courses

Using Top Hat is a great strategy for student engagement. However, most of the support documentation out there is targeted at single-user or small team taught courses. We have discovered that there are some unique challenges to working with a large group of instructors. To help you navigate them a little more easily, we have begun compiling a list of best practices. Here are some of the things we have learned so far:

Course Coordinators

  1. Set up one Top Hat course for the whole team to present from. Each instructor can have their own folder, but the course needs to be shared in order for the students to participate in it, and for engagement points and grading.
  2. Sync the Top Hat course to Carmen. This allows students have access without a join code and you can pull grades from the course if you wish. Click here for directions.
  3. Add the other instructors on the team to the Top Hat course. We recommend that you add instructors on an as-needed basis. Instructors without a Top Hat account will need to sign up on their own or see an Instructional Designer for assistance before they can be added. To keep clutter down, don’t add instructors who will not use Top Hat, but do add GTAs to help with content creation. Click here for instructions on adding professors and GTAs.
  4. Talk with an Instructional Designer. We can help you navigate setup and syncing with Carmen, and give you ideas for use cases to pass along to your team. In addition, we are happy to offer training to your teaching team and GTAs.


  1. Set up your account early. If you plan to use Top Hat, and you do not have an account already, set it up early in the semester.
    • Instructors – If you are a first time Top Hat user, see this page for directions for creating a Top Hat account.
    • GTAs – If you had a Top Hat account as an OSU Student, see this page for instructions for creating a dual account.
    • Student View – Top Hat does not support a way to switch roles between student and professor. To get around this, instructors can create a dual account in order to see their materials from a student perspective. See this page to get instructions for creating a dual account.
  2. Create a Sandbox. A Sandbox course will allow you to play with Top Hat and not mess anything up in the main course. You can use it to try out new features or to see what would happen if you did something differently. To do this, simply create a course entitled [LastName] Sandbox and use the course code “PHR Sandbox.”
  3. Use your Sandbox to create your content. This is very important! If you get into the main course while someone else is presenting, you can disrupt their presentation. Create and edit in your sandbox, and when your materials are ready, copy them into the main course for presentation. Click here for instructions on copying content between courses.
  4. Talk with an Instructional Designer. Top Hat is a more than just a clicker for multiple choice answers. Find out if there is an application that may add value to your lessons. We can also help you with sign-up, setup and training.

More Resources

ODEE’s Top Hat Help Articles –

Top Hat’s Knowledge Base (Professor) –

COP OEIS’ Resources and Publications –