Audience Engagement for Faculty & Staff

Top Hat is a teaching and learning cloud-based interactive platform that turns students’ web-enabled devices into virtual clickers. Top Hat offers a comprehensive way to track student engagement and participation, more options in creating interactive lectures, and other opportunities to enrich learning.

Top Hat Features

Top Hat features include:

  1. Ask interactive questions (multiple choice, word answer, numeric answer, fill in the blank, matching, click-on-target, and sorting) and have discussions with real-time feedback
  2. Attendance tracking to gauge student presence in the classroom via geolocation tagging and proximity to other students
  3. Presentation and annotation of shared instructional materials
  4. Interactive customizable content
  5. Marketplace (digital textbooks and Open Educational Resources)
  6. Sync with Canvas
  7. Team-based collaborative learning engagement

Visit the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) to see how instructors are using Top Hat at Iowa State.

Top Hat License

All Iowa State instructors can use Top Hat for free. If you decide to use Top Hat, inform the Iowa State University Book Store, per Section of the Faculty Handbook, so the Top Hat license can be added to your required course materials list. If instructors opt to use premium Top Hat Marketplace content, such as textbooks or secure tests, students pay for these features in addition to their Top Hat subscription.

Students licenses are available through the Iowa State Book Store or through the Top Hat website. By ordering through the Iowa State Book Store, students can use their Student Financial Aid to purchase the license. Students can learn more about Top Hat on the Audience Engagement for Students page.

Getting Started with Top Hat

Creating your Account and Courses

You can create your account at any time. After you create your account you can set up courses and invite students to join.

To create an account and setup your courses:

Visit Professor: Creating Your Account and Courses on the Top Hat Professor Orientation page.

Accessing your Account

To create content and administer questions, you must use a laptop or computer equipped with a web browser. You can also administer questions using the Top Hat app on a mobile device. For more information, visit Top Hat’s support pages for iOS and Android.

Using Top Hat

Additional resources for using Top Hat:

Top Hat Accessibility

Some instructional materials created in Top Hat may not be accessible for everyone. For general guidance and alternative ways to create accessible content, visit Utilizing Top Hat with Accessibility on the Top Hat Professor Orientation page or the Inclusive Top Hat Applications on the MyCanvas: Teacher at ISU. For questions or concerns about accessibility in Top Hat, e-mail


Contact the Solution Center, Top Hat Support, or e-mail