Using Top Hat to Report Results from Group Activities

Using Top Hat to report results from group activities.

Instructional Challenge

In many of the active learning activities identified, there is a need for instructors to find ways for students to report the results of work they have done in groups. This document walks instructors through the process of setting up and using Top Hat to collect and display short text responses (up to 100 words) to work done in groups.

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Setting Up Instructor's Top Hat Account

Top Hat is a Student Response System (SRS) that allows you to ask questions, take polls, give quizzes, and receive feedback from your students during class. Top Hat is a bring-your-own-device solution, which means that students can use any web-enabled device (laptop, tablets, smartphones) to participate. It also allows for text messaging to submit answers, so students can use older or flip cell phones as well. UW-Madison now has an enterprise license for Top Hat — allowing all UW-Madison instructors and students to use the tool without paying for a subscription. Follow the links below to set up your Top Hat account and connect your courses to the Top Hat system.

  1. Top Hat - Account Setup (Instructors) [UW-Madison]
  2. Top Hat - Syncing Grades and Rosters with Canvas (LTI 1.3) [UW-Madison]

Creating a Top Hat Question

  1. In your Canvas course, select Top Hat from the navigation bar. You will be brought to your Top Hat course space.
  2. Select the Create button to create a new question. The following are the available question types (for a full description visit the Top Hat Support Site): multiple-choice, word answers, numeric answers, fill in the blank, matching, click on target, sorting, or long answer.
    1. Select Discussion question type.
    2. Fill in the question details. 
      1. Title: Describes the activity (ex., Group Activity Response)
      2. Topic: Topic of the activity (ex., Buzz Group Activity)
    3. Under Grading Options, you have the ability to assign submissions for correctness and/or participation. For a discussion topic, there may not be a correct answer. If there is, you can designate the number of points you want to assign in the Correctness box. This, however, will be a manual process. If you don't want any points assigned for correctness, enter 0 in the box. In discussion questions in which all students are asked to submit a response, you can assign points by entering a value in the Participation box. If you are using Top Hat to facilitate the submissions of ideas, opinions, or results of a group activity, this process will only assign grades to the student who submitted. In this case, enter 0 in the box.
    4. Response Options: Determine who can see the responses and whether the results will be anonymous or not. There are five discussion types possible. Select the option that fits your need best.
      1. Open Discussion (student cannot see names of submissions: Students will be able to see other students' responses but will not be able to see who said what. The instructor, however, will be able to see which student submitted what.
          1. Under Response OptionsResponses can be seen by..., select Everyone. This will allow all students to see the responses of others.
          2. Under Response OptionsParticipants are anonymous to... select Participants only so the results will be anonymous to students, but you will be able to see student attribution.
      2. Open Discussion: Students will be able to see other students' responses and will see who said what. 
          1. Under Response OptionsResponses can be seen by..., select Everyone. This will allow all students to see the responses of others.
          2. Under Response OptionsParticipants are anonymous to... select No one so the results will be everyone will see who responded in what way.
      3. Anonymous Discussion: The instructor will not be able to see how individuals answered and the discussion cannot be graded. Students can see other students' submissions, but not who said what. 
          1. Under Response OptionsResponses can be seen by..., select Everyone. This will allow all students to see the responses of others.
          2. Under Response OptionsParticipants are anonymous to... select Everyone so the results will be anonymous to students and the instructor.
      4. Answer submission: Students will not be able to see other students' responses.
          1. Under Response OptionsResponses can be seen by..., select Professor only. This will allow only the instructor to see the responses of others.
          2. Under Response OptionsParticipants are anonymous to... select Participants only so the results will be anonymous to students, but you will be able to see student attribution.
      5. Anonymous submission: You will not see how individuals answered and the discussion cannot be graded. Students cannot see other students' submissions.
          1. Under Response OptionsResponses can be seen by..., select Professor only. This will allow only the instructor to see the responses of others.
          2. Under Response OptionsParticipants are anonymous to... select Everyone so the results will be anonymous to students and instructor.
    5. Select Save.

Setting Up Students in Top Hat

UW-Madison has procured an enterprise license for Top Hat. The new license allows all UW-Madison instructors and students to use the tool without paying for a subscription. Students should use their UW-Madison credentials to log on to Top Hat. Before students use Top Hat, they should make sure their account is set up properly. Send students to the following site for directions on setting up their account:

Starting the Response Session

  1. Direct students to either use their laptops or mobile phones to interact with the discussion question. In your Canvas course, have students select Top Hat from the navigation bar. You will be brought to your Top Hat course space.
  2. Select the discussion question(s) you want to present by selecting the square to the left of the questions.
  3. When ready to display the question to students, select the Present button at the top right corner of the screen.
  4. The Join Code screen will appear. Select Start Presentation to release question(s) to students.
  5. The question will appear on the screen. Students will see the question listed under Questions and Attendance
  6. You can show the live responses as students answer the question by selecting the Responses button.
  7. Select Close to end the answer submission process.
  8. Select Correct to show the correct answer (if one has been identified).
  9. To end the presentation, use the Esc key on your laptop.

Other Resources



Keywordsactive learning, report, results, group work, top hatDoc ID119846
OwnerTimmo D.GroupInstructional Resources
Created2022-07-21 09:37:59Updated2023-11-06 05:22:49
SitesCenter for Teaching, Learning & Mentoring
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