Part 9: Spring 2019 Labs

169 Top Hat – 04.04.2019

What does Top Hat do that Canvas can’t? How can we harness the potential of Top Hat to inform teaching practices? In the April 4, 2019 Active Teaching Lab, 24 participants gathered to see and share ways Top Hat, part of the Learn@UW suite of tools, can provide data, direction, and variety to guide student learning.


  • If you elect to make Top Hat part of your course, use it regularly and frequently to demonstrate its benefits to students. Although free for instructors, Top Hat student subscriptions are $26/semester, $38/year, or $75/four years.
  • Draw on Top Hat responses to assess students’ prior knowledge; use the results to decide where to start in instruction.
  • Use Top Hat for formative assessment, identifying areas needing further development and explanation before moving on to the next content topic.
  • Opt for anonymous questioning to gain a clearer picture of student attitudes, biases, and misconceptions.
  • Promote student preparedness with low-stakes in-class quizzes. Bonus: Top Hat can sync with the Canvas gradebook.

For more information on Top Hat, visit the session’s activity sheet.


The Active Teaching Lab is a Faculty Engagement program with sessions held on Thursdays from 1:00-2:00pm and Fridays from 8:30-9:45am in the Middleton Building (1305 Linden Dr.), room 120. Check out upcoming Labs or read the recaps from past Labs. We build interdisciplinary conversations that are more emergent than a presenter and more dynamic than a panel — a conversation with colleagues sharing challenges, solutions, and experiments on topics selected by a variety of stakeholders.

Sign up for regular Lab announcements by sending an email to


Active Teaching Lab eJournal Copyright © 2016 by DoIT Academic Technology and the UW-Madison Teaching Academy; Jennifer Hornbaker; John Martin; Julie Johnson; Karin Spader; Margaret Merrill; Margaret Murphy; and Jeffrey Thomas. All Rights Reserved.

Share This Book