Skip to main content

Introduction to Top Hat - Staff Guide

Top Hat is the University’s institutional mobile voting solution, it was implemented in 2019 following an extensive cross Faculty pilot. The tool has two distinct uses: active learning and assessment delivery. It is accessed through a web browser or iOS/Android app and is compatible with screen readers.

Top Hat for Active Learning

Top Hat provides teaching colleagues with a system that enables them to deploy interactive polls and quizzes to their students, who use a mobile device to take part. Staff can also embed polls and quizzes into their slide presentations (such as PowerPoint), which can then be delivered synchronously and asynchronously.

The Top Hat gradebook allows teaching colleagues to track performance for individual students or the entire class, and can be used to gauge comprehension and engagement, so that they can reach out to struggling students or adjust their teaching to cover knowledge gaps.

A weekly summary report highlights what concepts are proving difficult and identifies students who may benefit from extra help, see, Top Hat Staff Guide: Weekly Course Report. See Professor Neil Morris' opinion piece Promoting active learning through Top Hat reflects on the benefits of for active learning.

Top Hat for Summative and Formative Assessments

Top Hat can also be used to assign summative and formative assessments to students, online and remotely, where responses can be typed into a standard keyboard by the student. Top Hat offers three test environments and 11 automatically graded question types along with the option to set questions with long answers that are marked manually. If you are interested in using Top Hat for summative or formative assessments you may find the Overview of the assessment environments available in Top Hat helpful, this also contains a comparison between each environment to help you choose the right one for your assessment.

Getting Started

A range of resources and training are available to staff:

  • Top Hat: Staff Guides contain guidance on how to create your account and first course, add students, create tests and much more.
  • Top Hat Courses are offered throughout the year (online live webinars delivered by Top Hat trainers).
  • One-to-one bookable 20 minute support sessions are available with one of our Product Specialists, for you to get help setting up your Top Hat course or to ask any questions you might have.

Top Hat browser requirements
Top Hat recommend the use of Chrome or Firefox, please do not use Internet Explorer. Students can download the iOS/Android Top Hat app; however, it is recommended that they use a laptop or PC for high stake assessments, for further information, see Top Hat Browser Requirements.