Top Hat

Assess student understanding of course materials with multiple question types and track attendance with this web-based student response system.

Top Hat allows instructors to present and annotate slides, track attendance, ask questions in a variety of ways, and facilitate discussions with prompts.

Student answers are graded and recorded automatically in Top Hat’s grade book where instructors can analyze questions and topics that require attention.

Top Hat License

Top Hat is free to all Arts instructors and their students until August 2024.


Top Hat offers features and functions that allow instructors to create a fully interactive experience with their students in the classroom while assessing their knowledge.

  • Can be accessed with a desktop or mobile device
  • Take attendance
  • Present lecture slides
  • Upload files
  • Facilitate discussions with question prompts
  • Ask questions, types include: multiple choice, word answer, numeric answer, fill in the blank, matching, click on target, sorting, long answers
  • Create pages with embedded multimedia, such as videos and images
  • Analyze student and class performance through the gradebook
  • Export grades as a .csv file and upload them into Canvas

Arts ISIT Resources

Start off with Arts ISIT’s tips and recommendations for using Top Hat to stay informed.

When you are ready to set up your course under the Faculty of Arts license, send us a request by filling out the form below.

When you are logging in, you must first search for "University of British Columbia - Faculty of Arts". After you locate our university and faculty, you can enter your credentials and log in.

When using Top Hat, the best results occur when use is consistent and frequent.

For remote lectures, you will need to use Top Hat in conjunction with Zoom

To check students’ comprehension after class, assign homework through Top Hat or ask questions assessing student’s understanding. Possible questions may include: “What questions did you have about today’s lecture?” or “What was the most interesting point you learned today?”

Use a timer to show students how much time is left to respond to questions and display the percentage of students who have responded.

Use the Quick-add feature to generate a new question during a presentation. This feature is especially useful if you have a PowerPoint slide with questions displayed.

For the best user experience, Top Hat recommends using Chrome (supporting last 3 major versions) or Mozilla Firefox (supporting last 3 major versions) web browser. For the full list of the supported web browser, visit the Top Hat Browser Requirement page.

If students are not able to access the online app through their phone or computer, they can connect to Top Hat by sending their responses through text messages. (note that students may be charged depending on their mobile service plans)

Additional Resources


If you would like a consultation on Top Hat or set up your course under our faculty license, please fill out the form below.

Courses need to be set up under the Faculty of Arts license for Top Hat in order for them to be free for students to access.

Before filling out the request form below, you will need to set up an educator/instructor account and create a course for the join code:

  1. Go to
  2. Click on Signup located at the top right hand corner.
  3. Fill in all the required information.
  4. After you have created your account, the last step is to create your Top Hat course.
  5. Enter in your course information.
  6. Upon creation of your course, you will be provided with a JOIN CODE for the course you just created (located on the top left hand corner right below your course name).
  7. To create additional courses, click on the X in the top left beside the course name
  8. Click on Create a Course
  9. Fill out the form below to have your course set up under the Faculty of Arts license with Top Hat.

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