Get started with Top Hat at IU

Indiana University instructors planning to use Top Hat should complete the Top Hat planning form to ensure wireless coverage is available.

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, ordinary cell phones, or physical clickers to participate in Top Hat activities.

On this page:

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 Clickers page for pedagogical issues related to using student response systems.

In some situations, you may be able to use clickers 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 clickers for high-stakes assessments without a backup plan (e.g., also requiring students to hand in a hard copy of the exam with their answers marked).

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Getting started with Top Hat


To create and set up your Top Hat account and course on your own, follow the instructions in the Professor: Indiana University Quick Start 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 orientation to Top Hat with a trained Top Hat specialist
  • Two meetings with an instructional designer from Top Hat
  • Concierge service to migrate existing PowerPoint files from TurningPoint to Top Hat

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

For information about dedicated clicker hardware, contact eLearning Design and Services. If you need to help a student borrow a wireless device to use in class (see the section for students below), contact your campus teaching and learning center.

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To participate in Top Hat activities, you need a Top Hat subscription and an appropriate wireless device. In most cases, this will be 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 a wireless device you can use, contact your instructor. IU can provide devices when needed.

The following pricing options are available to students who purchase their Top Hat subscriptions through Top Hat's registration portal:

  • One semester: $20
  • One year: $30
  • Five years: $55

Prices for Top Hat subscriptions purchased through an IU Bookstore will be slightly higher; check with your campus bookstore for pricing and availability.

During the transition from TurningPoint to Top Hat, students with existing TurningPoint clickers will be eligible to receive a $20 credit when purchasing a Top Hat subscription. For more, see At IU, how do I get a credit for a used clicker?

For instructions on setting up your Top Hat account, see the Student: Indiana University Quick Start Guide, or watch the Top Hat: Getting Started IT Training video.

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Available platforms

To use the Top Hat web app, your device should be running an up-to-date version of your chosen browser or operating system. You can run the Top Hat web app on the following platforms:

  • Web app (use Firefox, Chrome, Safari, or Internet Explorer)
  • iOS app
  • Android app
  • Mobile web app (use Android native browser, Android Firefox, Android Chrome, or iOS native Safari browser)

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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 your course has 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


  • Before the semester starts:

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

    To have the wireless capacity in a classroom assessed before classes begin, be sure to fill out the Top Hat planning form in advance.

  • Immediate 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.


  • 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 2018-05-14 12:11:31.

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