Get started with Top Hat at IU

Top Hat is a student response system and comprehensive teaching platform that instructors can use to engage students both within and outside of the classroom with interactive slides, graded questions, customized content, videos, discussions, and polls. Students use smartphones, tablets, laptops, or ordinary cell phones to participate in Top Hat activities.

At Indiana University, an enterprise license agreement allows all students to use Top Hat free of charge.

Indiana University instructors planning to use Top Hat should complete the Top Hat planning form to ensure wireless coverage meets Top Hat's requirements.

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Pedagogical considerations

Before deciding whether and how to use Top Hat in your classroom, you may wish to review the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning's Student Response Systems page for pedagogical issues related to using Top Hat in your course.

In some situations, you may be able to use Top Hat to give tests. However, because you do not have a hard copy of students' answers with this method (unlike with Scantron), you should not use Top Hat for high-stakes assessments without a backup plan (for example, also requiring students to hand in a hard copy of the exam with their answers marked).

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Get started with Top Hat


UITS recommends completing the Top Hat preparation checklist.

To create and set up your Top Hat account and course on your own, follow the instructions in the Professor: Indiana University Course Setup Guide. If you need assistance getting started (or transitioning from TurningPoint to Top Hat), make an appointment with a consultant at your campus teaching and learning center.

Top Hat also offers free services to instructors to facilitate their use of Top Hat, including:

  • One-on-one Top Hat orientation with a trained Top Hat specialist
  • Two meetings with a Top Hat instructional designer
  • Concierge service to migrate existing PowerPoint files from TurningPoint to Top Hat

To take advantage of these services, contact the Top Hat team.

If you have students who do not have any kind of device they can use with Top Hat, contact your campus teaching and learning center.

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To participate in Top Hat activities, you need a web-enabled smartphone, tablet, or laptop computer. You can also submit most types of answers via text message using an ordinary cell phone; however, some question types cannot be answered via text messaging. For details, see Student: SMS/Text Message Submissions.

If you don't have any kind of device you can use, contact your instructor.

For instructions on setting up your Top Hat account, see the Student: Indiana University Quick Start Guide.

Use one of the following apps. Make sure you have an up-to-date version of the mobile app, your chosen browser, and/or your device's operating system.

  • Top Hat mobile app (smartphone or tablet):
    • iOS app
    • Android app
  • Top Hat web app:
    • Mobile web app: Use Android native browser, Android Firefox, Android Chrome, or iOS native Safari browser
    • Laptop: Use Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Internet Explorer
      On January 12, 2016, Microsoft ended support for Internet Explorer versions prior to version 11. UITS strongly recommends that you upgrade to a new operating system if your current system does not support Internet Explorer 11. If you experience difficulty with Internet Explorer, make sure compatibility mode is turned off.

If you need to register your mobile phone number with Top Hat after setting up your account (for example, if you didn't enter it initially, or if you get a new phone number), see Add or update your phone number in Top Hat.

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Top Hat cannot give the same account Student and Professor status, so TAs who take classes using Top Hat should create an account using a personal email address in the school "Professor Test Organization" and ask the professor to add it to the course. If your status has changed from Student to Professor, contact Top Hat Support.

Canvas integration

Top Hat seamlessly integrates with Canvas, offering one-click enrollment and gradebook synchronization. For detailed instructions on how to customize the integration with the Canvas Gradebook, see Professor: Advanced Canvas Integration.

If you plan to use Top Hat in multiple cross-listed sections in Canvas, before setting up your course(s) in Top Hat, see Set up Top Hat for a Canvas course with cross-listed sections.

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Get help


  • Assistance getting started and pedagogical concerns:

    Instructors can get help using technology in their teaching at the teaching and learning centers on each campus.

    Top Hat also provides a one-on-one Top Hat orientation with a trained Top Hat specialist. To schedule a meeting, contact the Top Hat team.

  • Immediate technical assistance in the classroom:

    At IU Bloomington or IUPUI, contact Classroom Technology Services; see Classroom Technology Services.

    At other IU campuses, contact your campus Support Center.

  • Widespread issues with wireless access:

    If you encounter widespread or systemic problems with wireless access in your classroom, instruct students to contact their campus Support Center and include the MAC address of the device(s) that had difficulty.


  • Problems logging into IU Secure: Contact your campus Support Center.
  • Problems with your Top Hat account (including grades not appearing correctly in the course gradebook): Contact Top Hat Support.

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This is document abmj in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2019-03-22 09:21:00.

Contact us

For help or to comment, email the UITS Support Center.