Getting Started with Top Hat

Top Hat is a classroom response system where students can submit answers to in-class questions using Apple or Android smartphones and tablets, laptops, or text messages. This article explains how faculty can add the Top Hat Plugin tool to their Canvas course site.


This article is intended for faculty.


Canvas and Top Hat Student Response System


Ordering Top Hat Licenses

Order Top Hat licenses through Akademos, Ithaca College Online Bookstore

Cost through Akademos:

  • Top Hat Classroom One Term ($34)
  • Top Hat Classroom One Year  ($57)

Setting Up Your Professor Account

If you have a Teaching Assistance who will be helping to facilitate your course, they must sign up as a professor in Top Hat. If they have previously signed up as a student and now need to become a professor in Top Hat, contact L&IT.

  1. Visit Top Hat and
  2. Click Signup button on the top right corner of the page. You will be prompted to sign up as a Professor or sign up as a Student.
  3. Click Sign-up as a Professor.
  4. Search for Ithaca College on the following page.
  5. Sign into Top Hat with your Netpass username and password. (If this does not show, contact L&IT.)
  6. After logging in with your Ithaca College credentials, you will be prompted to create your course. We strongly recommend that you title the course as it is titled in Canvas.

How to Add Top Hat Plugin Tool to Your Canvas Course

  1. Log in to
  2. Navigate to your course site.
  3. Click Settings at the bottom of your course navigation on the left.
  4. Click on the Navigation tab.
  5. Scroll down to find the hidden items.
  6. Click and drag the Top Hat tool up into your course navigation list.
  7. Scroll to the bottom and click Save.   

    Alert: You will likely see an error message that says, "Create Account or Merge Existing Account. There's an issue connecting your Top Hat account With your LMS. ... There are multiple organizations configured with this LMS. Please get in touch with Top Hat support to resolve this issue." (See screenshot below for reference.)

     It is ok to ignore this message and click the Log in button. Top Hat is aware of this error message and is working to resolve the issue.

    If you click log in and still receive an error message, please submit a help request.


Information About Top Hat for Your Syllabus

Most professors choose to include a short introduction to Top Hat on their course syllabi. Including an introduction ensures the students have all the information they require to access your Top Hat course and (in an ideal world) limits the number of questions students will have! Feel free to adapt the following to meet your needs and include them on your syllabus:

Top Hat Information:

We will be using the Top Hat ( classroom response system in class. You will be able to submit answers to in-class questions using Apple or Android smart phones and tablets, laptops, or through text message.

You can visit the Top Hat Overview ( within the Top Hat Success Center which outlines how you will register for a Top Hat account, as well as providing a brief overview to get you up and running on the system.

We will go over this in class on the first day, but you can register for our course beforehand by simply visiting our course website: Unique Course URL
Note: our Course Join Code is XXXXXX

Top Hat will require a paid subscription, available for purchase through the IC bookstore. You have two options for subscription lengths - $34 for one semester or $57 for one academic year (when purchased through Akademos).

Should you require assistance with Top Hat at any time, due to the fact that they require specific user information to troubleshoot these issues, please contact their Support Team directly by way of email (, the in-app support button, or by calling 1-888-663-5491.


1) For your unique course URL, when logged into your Top Hat course, simply copy and paste the URL address in the address bar

2) As indicated by the image below, your Course Join Code can be found under your course name in the upper left-hand corner of your course​

User-added image
3) If you are teaching different courses or sections with Top Hat you’ll want to ensure you modify this blurb for each of your courses.
4) The email invitation referenced above refers to the email invitation sent from your course Student Manager - for additional information and instructions on inviting your students to your course please see here: Professor: Inviting Students to Your Course

How to Create Your Lesson Presentation in Top Hat

To build your lessons in Top Hat, follow the following steps:

  1. Log in to Top Hat.
  2. Enter your course and click the Content tab near the top left.
  3. Click Create. When clicked, four columns will be displayed. The first two columns will most likely be your most used columns.
  4. To upload a presentation that you have already created in Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides, click Upload Slides under the Top Hat Classroom column.  Any .pdf and .pptx files are acceptable to upload. It may take a few minutes to upload the presentation, depending on its length. The presentation will be split up into its slides, and you will be able to insert questions, discussions, or whiteboard slides between the presentation's slides.
  5. To create a question, click Create. Click Create Content in the first column.

To learn more about the different questions, visit Top Hat Support.

One-On-One Training with L&IT

The L&IT staff is more than happy to come to your class the first time you use Top Hat to assist with any technical difficulties. For one-on-one training with the Top Hat student response system, contact L&IT to arrange a time.

In this training, we will be able to go over the following main points while also addressing any questions or concerns:

  • Account set-up
  • Canvas Top Hat plugin
  • Course creation
  • Top Hat "Content" tab
  • Top Hat "Gradebook" tab
  • Top Hat "Students" tab
  • Top Hat account settings
  • Top Hat presentation tool (free download)
  • Presenting in Top Hat

For more information about the functionality of Top Hat, please visit the following resource:


Article ID: 396
Thu 7/5/18 12:04 PM
Mon 11/21/22 2:57 PM