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Top Hat Audience Response System

Instructors can use Top Hat to transform the mobile devices students already own into powerful tools for active learning. Top Hat leverages students’ own smartphones, tablets or laptops so they can submit answers via text messages or over WiFi.

Getting Started

Taking a Class?

  • To get started using Top Hat, create a student Top Hat account.  
  • Once you have your Top Hat account set up, add courses by entering the unique six-digit course code assigned to the Top Hat course.  This code will be provided to you by your instructor, either manually or via a link in Blackboard.
  • To respond to questions during classes, you can use any web-enabled device; including, laptops, tablets or smartphones. If you do not have one of these devices, you can also respond via text message.
  • In order for your instructor to be able to include your responses in their marking, you need to ensure that in your Top Hat Account Information you have your username set to your NSID username and your Student ID set to your U of S Student ID.

Teaching a Class?

  • To get started using Top Hat, create an instructor Top Hat account
  • Once you have your Top Hat account set up, you can create your courses and invite your students to join.
  • If you would like to provide additional information about the use of Top Hat into your syllabus for students to reference, please use the content provided in the Top Hat Syllabus Entry document
  • For more details on the features of Top Hat, see the Learn More tab
  • For additional support in using Top Hat, see the support tab.
  • Consultations on how to effectively incoporate Top Hat into your teachings are available. For more information, contact with the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness.
  • Are you curious why and how other faculty members on campus are using Top Hat? A survey of U of S faculty using Top Hat was conducted in 2018 to understand how it is being utilized in the university classroom. To view the results of this survey, please click here.

Learn More

Introduction to Top Hat

Top Hat offers a suite of features to augment the teaching and learning experience for both instructors and students. Using the platform, instructors can create more than seven different types of questions, moderate class-wide discussions, host class-wide tournaments and more.

Top Hat Features

  • Present material, launch questions and get real-time student feedback without leaving the comfort of your lecture slides.
  • Your students use the devices they already own, like their laptops, tablets or phones to text in answers. 
  • Poll students, track attendance and automate grading, all in one place.
  • Free yourself from the podium by presenting your lecture right from the Top Hat Lecture iPad or Android app.
  • Provide an interactive approach that can be used to enhance learning in any subject.

Click here to view all the features of Top Hat.

(Optional) The Top Hat Presentation Tool

This tool provides you with a “floating palette” version of the Top Hat browser window so that you can access and present your Top Hat questions without using a web browser.  
 med pt002.exe and double-click on it to start the Presenter app.  Check out this Top Hat Presentation Tool article for information about downloading, installing and using this tool


Top Hat Support

For support and strategies on how to effectively incorporate Top Hat into your teaching, contact with the Gwenna Moss Centre for Teaching Effectiveness.

For general inquiries or technical problems relating to Top Hat, please contact the Top Hat support team at, or by phone at 1-888-663-5491.

Top Hat Support's standard business hours are Monday to Friday, 9:00 AM ET to 6:00 PM ET - and they are happy to assist with whatever may be going on so please do not hesitate to contact them.

If you and your students experience widespread problems accessing Top Hat in a U of S classroom (ie., more than 5-10 students) contact the ICT Service Desk at 2222, or email to

Please provide them with the following information:

  • Class Name and Number
  • Instructor contact information
  • Classroom number/location
  • Date/Time of class
  • Approximate number of students in the room at the time
  • Approximate number of students experiencing connection issues

Once you are signed in and using Top Hat, there are two additional options for support.

  1. View step-by-step live Top Hat tutorials, click on the Guides link located at the bottom-left of your Top Hat home page.
  2. View instructional videos or submit a New Support Request by clicking on the Support link located at the bottom-left of your Top Hat home page.

Laptop Lending Program

Students or faculty members that require a laptop on a short-term basis (up to a six hour period) can borrow them through the University Library Laptop Lending Program. To borrow a laptop or find out more information about the program, visit the University Library website.
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