Top Hat

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Bloom’s Taxonomy Levels: Knowledge, Comprehension  (can be used in tandem with other strategies to access Application, Analysis, and Evaluation)

What is it?

An app-based, electronic polling and presentation system, used for everything from clicker-response questions and live discussions, to online, interactive textbooks that include videos and questions.

How Do I Use It?

At its core, Top Hat is a clicker question system. To use it in its most basic form:

  1. Create a question based on the pre-work material or lecture you are giving
  2. Go to and sign into or create your account
  3. Open your course, or create a new course
  4. Click Create and choose Question from the dropdown list
  5. Choose the type of question you wish to ask
  6. When you are ready, present the question to the class using the Present button

In more advanced applications, Top Hat can be used to foster discussion, assign interactive homework and allow for review of material and questions. See an instructional designer for more details on how to utilize more advanced features.


Top Hat pairs well several other active learning strategies:

Think-Pair-Share and Problem-Based Learning

These strategies pair well with a Top Hat Discussion Question as the report-out at the end.

Minute Paper/Muddiest Point

Both of these strategies bookend a class period and can be administered using Top Hat’s Discussion Question feature.

Team-Based Learning

Top Hat is working on a group submission extension that will allow teams to submit TRAT/GRAT quiz questions as a group. This development is in Beta testing (SP 18) and does not allow for a full TBL experience for students as the students still cannot see the answers from their IRAT unless they take it on paper. They are continuing to develop this product and plan to make TBL a viable option for Top Hat. Keep watching for updates!

Top Hat Resources and Support

The ODEE Resource Center is an excellent starting point for getting started with the platform

Syncing Your Carmen Roster with Top Hat

Syncing the Gradebook

Top Hat Interactive Guides provide step-by-step, up-to-date instructions for using Top Hat. Here’s how to access them:

  • Once you are signed into Top Hat, click the question mark in the top right hand corner
  • Choose Interactive Guides from the drop down menu
  • For your first time in Top Hat, choose Top Hat Tour from the guide menu

Top Hat also offers a support webpage, where you can email a question to their support team.

Top Hat Blog offers tips and stories ranging from Top Hat utilization to teaching with technology.