Teaching and Learning Resource Center

Getting Started with Top Hat for Students

Top Hat is a student response, web-based system. Instructors can use Top Hat to poll students, ask discussion prompts, present lecture material and track attendance.

Students can respond to Top Hat questions and prompts using the devices they already own. There are both browser-based and app options:

  • web browsers - Available on all internet-connect laptops, desktop, tablets and smartphones.
  • mobile devices - There are Android and IOS applications available.
  • and SMS response (texting) - You can text in answer responses.

If you have trouble connecting to the wireless, you might try an alternative mode of response (e.g., 4G / 3G connection or SMS texting). If the problem persists, please contact your instructor.

Top Hat Support

Top Hat Support offers detailed articles for using Top Hat, including some of the following articles:

First Time Login

Before you can log in to Top Hat, you will need to sign up through tophat.com.

UX Tip

Top Hat has Android / IOS apps you can download to your mobile device. Signing up for Top Hat through tophat.com allows you to create the password you will use to sign in with the mobile app.

  1. Navigate to tophat.com.
  2. Click Signup in the upper-right corner. After the initial sign up process, you will click Login to enter your Top Hat courses.
    Signup link on Top Hat website
  3. Choose Sign-up as a student.
    Sign-up as a student button on Top Hat website
  4. If you received a join code from your instructor, you can enter it. This will be the quickest way to sign up for Top Hat. If you do not have a join code, select Search by school.
  5. Begin typing Ohio State University in the Search for a school search field.
    Search for a school search box on Log in to Top Hat screen
  6. Two options will populate, select Ohio State University.
  7. Click Next- Find your course.
    Ohio State University selected under school search box on Join your school screen
  8. In the Search for your course box, begin typing your course or instructor name.
  9. Select your course from the list.
  10. Click Log in with school account.
    Course search box on Find your course screen with Log in with school account button
  11. You will be prompted to sign in with your lastname.# and university password.
  12. Type in your lastname.# and university password and click Login. You will return to Top Hat.
  13. Click Continue creating a new student account. You will return to the Account Settings page.
    UX Tip

    If you create your account first using your mobile app, you will choose Update with an existing account to connect your Top Hat account with your University information. Note the account you create via your mobile app is temporary and only lasts seven days. We recommend signing up through the website.

  14. Type a password within the Account Settings page. The password you choose here will be used when you log in with the mobile apps. For browser-based login, you will use your lastname.# and university password.
  15. Complete the additional prompts.

Once the sign-up process is complete, you'll be taken to the Top Hat homepage. If instructors have linked your Carmen course with Top Hat and activated the course, you may already see your courses listed here.

If you do not see your course, you can manually add it if your instructor has activated it. You can do this during the set up process or later. See Top Hat's Getting Started Guide for more information.