Top Hat

Top Hat

With Top Hat, ALL your students get the chance to answer your questions. Don’t worry, it’s not just multiple choice like iClickers.

Top Hat is free to all Arts instructors and their students. Classroom response systems like Top Hat get ALL students thinking and responding in class. Contact us now at to get set up.


How does Top Hat Work?

TopHat is a web-based classroom response system — like Clickers, but on the web and phones — used chiefly for engaging students with the instructor’s prompts and allowing instructors to assess students’ understanding. TopHat also lets instructors track attendance, annotate slides, ask questions in a variety of ways, and have discussions involving ALL students. With TopHat, instructors are able to gauge students’ understanding in real time through viewing responses to multiple choice, numerical, textual or graphic questions. The discussions feature allows students to voice their opinions publicly or anonymously and receive peer feedback through likes or comments, while the analytics feature offers statistical visualization of student and class-wide performance.


Upload your Powerpoint and embed a variety of question types. (Or do it standalone, without Powerpoint)


Students think, share, discuss, and then respond on their personal devices.


Have groups discuss questions in class.

View Performance

See and record results instantly.


How are UBC Arts Instructors using Top Hat?

  • Take attendance, ask questions, create discussions, manage and annotate your PowerPoint slides, with no time lost in between. Instructors can use their tablets and annotate their slides while walking around the classroom.
  • Manage the class: Check whether students are prepared for class. TopHat can be used by instructors to determine which students have completed their readings and their level of preparedness for class discussions.
  • Class Participation: Top Hat makes class participation effortless and inviting. Students can easily comment on each other’s responses in live discussions or engage with their instructor’s prompts.
  • Active Learning: Instructors have options to enhance their lectures with the inclusion of multimedia, such as videos and images. Top Hat’s interactive exercises enable hands on student learning experiences and guided self-learning.

How Can Top Hat Help Me?

Top Hat makes a lecture feel less like a lecture. Students stay engaged, actively thinking about and responding to class material, while instructors have the ability to upload class slides, annotate and present them to students, in real-time on their personal devices.

With TopHat, a simple slideshow presentation becomes an interactive learning experience; instructors are able to use a wide range of questions and response types, even midway through a lecture, to immediately gauge and respond to students’ perspectives and understanding. Question types include images, graphical and text responses, as well as a discussion feature with an anonymous option, which enables any student to voice their opinions, even in a large classroom.

Top Hat’s analytical features provide statistical and visual summary insights of students’ performance, which allow instructors to easily and quickly gauge students’ understanding and learning progress.


  • FREE for Faculty Arts by filling out the access code request form below (at least through August 2020)
  • Students can use their personal devices (e.g., phones and laptops) to answer questions.
  • Enables flexible, inclusive discussions in a large classroom setting; students may be given the option to be anonymous and can comment on or respond to peer contributions.
  • Accessible web-based analytics and insights help instructors improve questions, identify points of misconception, and track student performance.
  • Allows for open ended questions and diverse inputs, such as drawing graphs or uploading pictures. Some instructors use this as a way to submit in-class group work done on paper (take a picture and submit).
  • Includes a native, full-featured grade book, which lets instructors manage grades within Top Hat.


  • UBC has not yet implemented the Canvas integration for TopHat to make student management and grades easier.
  • Students are required to bring their device to class, in order to participate through Top Hat. Refer students to UBC Learning Commons to sign-out a laptop, as equipment is available on a first-come, first-served basis.


  • When using Top Hat, the best results occur when use is consistent and frequent.
  • 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?”
  • If students are not able to access the online app through their phone or computer, they can connect to Top Hat and send their responses through text messages.
  • 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.

Getting Started

Top Hat Access Code Request Form

If you are interested in using Top Hat for your course(s), use the form below or send a message to

Note: This access request form is available for faculty members or staff only. Should you require an access code as a student, please see your course materials or, as a last resort ask your instructor. We cannot respond to any requests made by students.

  • Please use the following format:
    Session CodeNumber - Section (Maximum Student Enrollment)
Discuss ideas and options with the Arts Learning Centre Drop by the Arts Learning Centre for a chat in Buchanan C105A
Email Arts ISIT Helpdesk Contact ArtsISIT for assistance or a demonstration!
Ask a questions by filling out the form below! Ask us a question by filling out the form below.

Instructor Resources

Quick Start Guide
Creating An Account

Student Resources

Student Support