Teaching & Learning Resource Center

Getting Started with Top Hat for Instructors

About the Service

Top Hat is a web-based student response system that allows instructors to create an interactive lecture experience for students.

Instructors can use Top Hat to poll students, present discussion prompts, display lecture material, track attendance, and sync grades with CarmenCanvas.

Students can respond to Top Hat questions and prompts using the devices they already own, such as smartphones, laptops or tablets. There are both browser-based and app options.


All ODEE supported classrooms will have adequate wireless. Please contact 4-help if you have issues.

For classrooms maintained by individual colleges, please contact the college that owns the room for information related to wireless in these spaces. The Service Desk may be able to provide information about who to call. See Getting Help with Top Hat for more information.

Getting your Top Hat Course Ready

  1. Log in to Top Hat and create your course
    See the First Time Login and Course Creation page within this instructional guide for more information.
  2. Build your course content
    Top Hat Support offers detailed help articles for setting up Top Hat tools, including some of the following articles:
    1. Instructor Best Practices: Your First Day & Beyond!
    2. Creating and Using Questions
    3. Creating and Using Discussions
    4. Presenting Content
  3. Activate the course to make it available to students
    See the Activate Your Top Hat Course page within this instructional guide for more information.

Syncing with CarmenCanvas

While Top Hat does not have to be used in conjunction with Carmen, it can be. Once you have built your Top Hat course, instructors can sync their Top Hat grades to the Carmen Gradebook, as well as import their People list from Carmen into the Top Hat Roster.