What is Top Hat?

Top Hat is a cloud-based teaching tool that leverages student devices to increase in-class engagement and real-time feedback. Instructors can engage students in and outside of the classroom with interactive slides, graded questions, customized content, videos, discussions, and polls. Top Hat can be used in a live classroom or online, providing options for quizzing, polls, tests, in class discussions, interactive textbooks, assignments and attendance tracking. It can be integrated into Canvas and students can use a Top Hat app on Apple or Android mobile devices and offers options for synchronous and asynchronous conversations.

Accessibility & Privacy

If using this tool, including the following links in your course help meet Quality Matters (QM) Standards 6.4 and 8.6, respectively:

Additional Information

Some features may not meet accessibility guidelines. It is recommended that interested instructors contact the Penn State Accessibility Office for details, and to consider designing an equally effective alternate access plan. 

At a Glance

person Availability: Students, Faculty, Staff

paid Cost: Free to PSU

smartphone Mobile App: Yes

web Canvas Integration: Yes

dvr Supported Technologies: Computer, Mobile device, Webcam, Microphone, Internet

alarm Learning Curve: 2 hrs +

Practical Applications

Pedagogical Goals:

  • Create a Classroom Community
  • Disseminate Info / Deliver Content
  • Have Asynchronous Conversations
  • Have Synchronous Conversations
  • Increase Student Collaboration Outside of Class
  • Increase Student Participation
  • Obtain Student Feedback
  • Support Research and Development
Associated Teaching Activities:
Ticket Out Door Ticket Out the Door Student Generated Questions Student Generated Test Questions Polling Polling One Sentence Summary One Sentence Summary One Minute Paper One Minute Paper Muddiest Point Muddiest Point Memory Matrix Memory Matrix Ice Breaker Questions Icebreaker Questions Exam Wrapper Directed Paraphrasing Directed Paraphrasing Background Knowledge Background Knowledge & Misconception Check Application Cards Application Cards