Get started with Top Hat at IU

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Beginning with summer 2023 classes, all Indiana University classes (except for the IU School of Medicine) using Top Hat will use the LTI 1.3 version.

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 without fee.

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 Akindi), 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).

Get started with Top Hat (LTI 1.3)


UITS recommends completing the Top Hat preparation checklist.

Top Hat fully integrates with Canvas, and the newest Top Hat integration (LTI 1.3) includes new features and procedures. Users familiar with Top Hat should review the resources below, and note any items marked "NEW".

Students should not enroll manually in a Top Hat course (via the Join Code or direct URL), because they risk being removed from the course during the nightly automatic sync. To enroll in a Top Hat course, students must go to the Canvas course in a browser, select the navigation menu, and then choose Top Hat. Students listed as Pending/No Access in the Students tab of your Top Hat course need to select the Top Hat link in your Canvas course. "Pending" means students will need to create a Top Hat account, which they can do once they select the Top Hat link in Canvas.

Top Hat offers a free concierge service to help instructors create Top Hat questions from a Word or other text document. For more, see Professor: Top Hat Concierge Service. To take advantage of this service, contact your campus teaching and learning center. For more on how to engage students with Top Hat, see the following resources.


You should not enroll manually in a Top Hat course (via the Join Code or direct URL), because you risk being removed from the course during the automatic sync. Instead, follow the directions below. You must complete the registration process through a browser; you cannot enroll on a mobile device.

To enroll in a Top Hat course as a student, go to your Canvas course in a browser, and in the navigation menu, select Top Hat. You will need to select Top Hat from the course navigation menu for each Canvas course that uses Top Hat. If you don’t already have a student Top Hat account, create one and then sign in. For a video tutorial, see Student Course Launch in Canvas.

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.

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 Edge (Top Hat recommends Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox for the best user experience)

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.

Teaching assistants (TAs)

Teaching Assistants (TAs) can be added to courses with Teaching Assistant role privileges. This role is for users who have used, or are using, Top Hat as a student and need teaching assistant privileges for specific courses on their existing student account. After the course instructor adds you to the course, you will receive an email invitation to join. In the email, select Go to Top Hat. For more, see Accepting an invitation to join a course as a Teaching Assistant

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.

  • Immediate technical assistance in the classroom:

    At IU Bloomington or IU Indianapolis, 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 connecting to wireless: Contact your campus Support Center.
  • Problems with your Top Hat account (including grades not appearing correctly in the course gradebook): Contact Top Hat Support.

This is document abmj in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2024-04-17 10:49:10.