Top Hat is a student engagement system and comprehensive teaching platform that instructors can use to engage students in and outside of the classroom with interactive slides, graded questions, customized content, videos, discussions, and polls. When integrated with Canvas, instructors can also seamlessly synchronize rosters and grades. Top Hat utilizes no separate hardware but rather asks students to use their smartphones, tablets, laptops, or ordinary cell phones to participate in activities.

Why Use Top Hat?

Using Top Hat, Instructors can rapidly collect answers to questions from every student, and if desired, display a summary of the data and/or responses in a variety of ways. Questions can also be automatically graded- allowing Instructors a pain-free way to track and reward participation and understanding.

Top Hat can help make any course an engaging experience for students, while lightening the load of grading and assessment for Instructors. Top Hat accomplishes a similar level of questioning and interactivity as iClicker or Poll Everywhere, but with the bonus of Canvas integration that instructors to seamlessly synchronize rosters and grades. In addition to it’s various questioning tools, Top Hat can be used to take secure attendance, manage your PowerPoint presentations, create asynchronous assignments and review materials, and even proctor live tests.

Students can download the Top Hat application on their mobile devices to use to complete their responses in class, offering the students the convenience of using their own devices as a “clicker”. Top Hat also allows students to send SMS messages from their mobile devices to answer questions. This means students can respond during content delivery, even if the Wi-Fi connection isn’t working.

The best part: there is no additional cost to use Top Hat for Penn State students or instructors.

Ready to get started with Top Hat? Looking for more dynamic and interactive course content? Explore the topics below.

The Top Hat course page allows you to create various questions, assignments, pages, and presentations and organize them into into folders.

Login and Account Setup

Learn how to access your account and set up your first course using Penn State’s Log in and Setup Instructions.

Learn more about basic functionality of Top Hat such as how to get students enrolled and create content, and learn more about ways you can use Top Hat to enrich your course using the Top Hat Professor Quick Start Guide.


Connect Top Hat To Canvas

You can Integrate Top Hat with you Canvas course. Discover the possibilities when using Top Hat with Canvas to streamline grading and course content in Top Hat’s Guide to the Canvas Integration


Use Top Hat for Teaching and Learning

Top Hat can help you with everything from increasing participation, managing your presentations, creating synchronous and asynchronous assignments, to discussions and more.

For a deeper dive, utilize Top Hat’s guides, checklists, and samples to get some great ideas and to ensure you are getting the most out of Top Hat:

Use Top Hat for Assessment

From creating Top Hat assignments to Monitored Testing, Top Hat can be used as a platform for effective assessment.

Get 1:1 Support

Get additional one-on-one help with Top Hat experts! Sign up for a session today!

  • Live Demonstrations: Instructors interested in learning about how Top Hat can be used in courses can connect with a Top Hat education technology specialist by completing the Top Hat Demo Request form.
  • 1-1 Teaching Support: After attending a demo or the Penn State ITLD Top Hat Training instructors who want to integrate Top Hat into their course can book a consultation with a Top Hat Instructional Designer using the Top Hat ID Consultation Form.


Other Help and Support Resources


Helpful Links for Students

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