Top Hat is an online teaching platform designed to help professors and educators engage their students and build comprehension before, during, and after classes. The software offers solutions for delivering interactive courses, customizing digital textbooks, assigning homework, and securely administering assessments.
Top Hat automates a variety of common, repetitive tasks to free up teachers' time, such as taking attendance and grading homework. Built-in assessment tools allow users to tracks students' progress throughout the term, with in-class questions and polls in addition to assigned homework, and provide feedback in real time to course-correct when necessary. Top Hat also aims to enhance student engagement with courses through integrated graphics and videos, customized interactive textbooks, class discussions, and lesson gamification.
Top Hat's assessment solution allows students to take tests through their own device, whether a laptop, tablet, or smartphone, without downloading any software. Instructor-generated codes control access to the exam, and a proprietary behavioral algorithm automatically detects cheating. Homework tasks can be assigned to individuals or groups through the assignment solution, and users can create custom questions, import their existing materials, or choose free question packs in the Top Hat marketplace.
Overall I am pretty happy with Top Hat. It would definitely fall in the upper end of programs I have used. The students also seem to enjoy it as well.
I was able to log into Top Hat and immediately start using it without any training. It’s a pretty intuitive site. Seeing the grades and attendance is straightforward and has been easier to edit than other programs that I have used.
When students are submitting their quizzes or comments there is major lag time and I am not sure if that is because of the software or internet connectivity. I am never entirely sure if I know how many people have turned in their questions. Until about 3 minutes after the questions is over. Also, I wish there was a way to edit slides when they are posted into Top Hat because when I upload sometimes the slides become distorted and I need to make the text smaller or rearrange it so that it fits on the screen and can be read. Also, sometimes the link to videos do not work.
Students answer questions in real time and the percentages of what answers were chosen can then be displayed.
As a student who had to use the software, the cost can be annoying. You have to pay based on how long you think you'll need the software, which you won't always know if you're not sure whether future classes will use the software. For example, you might decide to pay for 1 years use because it's "cheaper" over time, but you only ended up having a class use it for 3 months. So you wasted money paying for the rest of the subscription and the company gets more money from struggling college students. And of course, the opposite could happen where you pay for 1 quarter, then another classes uses it and you'd have to pay for it again.
Before Top Hat came along, iClicker was the more commonly used tech and does the same job. With iClicker, you only had to pay one time for the remote and then you could sell the remote to another student, which was much more cost effective for students.
Maybe it's because it was a 12pm physics lecture and no one wanted to be there, including the technology, but Top Hat was a hit-or-miss most of the semester. I cannot speak for the professor in this case, but this was my experience as a student. We used Top Hat for attendance, poll questions, and short quizzes between slides. Attendance tracking utilizes location to some extent, but if you have the code and time, you can check into class without being there. Our professor caught people checking in remotely; but we also found out that there were dead spots where people in the very room could not check in. That led to tons of handwritten attendance sheets. Also quizzes within the slides often glitched out and had to be restarted or they randomly deleted the annotations. The lecture hall was 200~220 people.
Glitchy with large amount of people; Attendance not always accurate
It has helped me so much with this class. It has given me a new way to go about grasping the material and I would highly suggest it to other people.
I used it in my economics class, and we had embedded questions within our chapters. It really makes you slow down to understand and grasp the concepts.
We had problems with being able to go back and view which questions were answered correctly or incorrectly. I also wish there were more functions like notes and bookmarks along with the highlighting.
It allows you to take attendance with a unique code so only the people present get credit. It very efficiently collects answers to questions and gives the lecturer immediate feedback on whether the class understands the material.
It was complicated to use which has given a few people some trouble
Top Hat is free for professors.
• Top Hat Classroom provides users with tools for delivering interactive courses to engage students, including attendance tracking through students' devices, embedded questions in presentations, real-time polls, and response data visualization.
• With Top Hat Textbook, users can create custom digital textbooks for their students, utilizing videos, animations, and questions interspersed within content to engage learners.
• Top Hat Assignment enables the assignment of homework tasks to individual students or groups, with options for importing existing materials, auto-grading of answers, and real-time feedback.
• Assessments can be managed and securely administered through students' own devices with Top Hat Test, which uses proprietary behavioral algorithms to detect cheating and automatically lock out students.
• Top Hat automates a range of common repetitive tasks, such as attendance taking and test grading, allowing users to focus their attention on important activities.
Below are some frequently asked questions for Top Hat.
Top Hat offers the following pricing plans:
Starting from: US$30,00
Pricing model: Free, Subscription
Free Trial: Not Available
Top Hat is free for professors.
Top Hat offers the following features:
Top Hat has the following typical customers:
Large Enterprises, Non Profit, Public Administrations
Top Hat supports the following languages:
Top Hat has the following pricing plans:
Top Hat supports the following devices:
Android, iPhone, iPad
We do not have any information about what integrations Top Hat has
Top Hat offers the following support options:
FAQs, Knowledge Base, Online Support, Phone Support, Video Tutorials