In Response to COVID-19, Top Hat’s Platform is Now Free for Professors Who Need a Remote Teaching Solution

In an effort to support educators and ensure the least amount of disruption to students’ education, AC grad Top Hat is making its platform free for classes needing to complete the rest of the semester online.

March 12, 2020

This blog post was originally published on

Colleges and universities across North America are facing unprecedented disruption and uncertainty. At Top Hat, we share the concerns of all professors and administrators doing their best to navigate the COVID-19 challenge on behalf of their students and communities. We know that many have already made the difficult decision to either pause the semester or close campuses indefinitely and are now looking at options to deliver course content to students remotely.

We believe Top Hat is in a position to help. This is why we are making the Top Hat platform available free of charge for the rest of the semester to support educators who have current, active classes, and need to transition their classes online in order to complete the semester.

If you are a current Top Hat customer, we are providing dedicated support to help you transition your course materials and navigate any features you may be unfamiliar with. You can click here to view our support resources for teaching online with Top Hat or contact our support team any time to speak with a representative.

If you are not yet a Top Hat customer and now face the difficult challenge of transitioning your course online, we want to help. You can click here to get your course set up on Top Hat.

What is Top Hat and how does it help?

Top Hat’s active learning platform offers tools to facilitate effective remote learning for both synchronous (real-time) class meetings and asynchronous (recorded or self-paced) learning.

  • Facilitate participation remotely and in real-time with features that allow you to take attendance, present slides directly to students’ devices, ask polling questions and host live discussions
  • Monitor students’ understanding and progress through self-paced learning materials with a modular, all-in-one-place setup that requires students to complete assessment questions as they work through your recorded lectures, reading materials and other media
  • Embed discussions anywhere in your learning materials to foster collaborative learning in classes being delivered remotely
  • Quickly build and deliver formative and summative assessments to gauge student comprehension and identify those in need of support

In addition to offering our platform free of charge for the rest of the semester, we are providing extra support to ensure that those who would like to use Top Hat’s remote content delivery capabilities are able to do so as quickly and seamlessly as possible.

We have identified several common scenarios to support students and faculty during this time of uncertainty.

If you need to continue hosting a live classroom meeting (Synchronous Teaching)

Used in conjunction with live streaming applications like Zoom, GoToMeeting, and YouTube Live, Top Hat allows you to live stream your lecture along with supporting content. Through the Top Hat platform, you can take attendance remotely and students can access lecture slides as well as live interactive questions and discussion threads.

If you have cancelled classes and prefer to deliver course content through readings and assignments (Asynchronous Teaching)

Asynchronous teaching is an important option since it allows students to view lectures and consume content remotely and on their own schedule. Top Hat allows educators to record and embed video lectures and integrate this content alongside other course materials, including slide presentations, lecture notes, readings, assignments and homework questions.

If you need to replace in-person tests and exams

In cases where educators are considering administering an open-book digital exam, Top Hat provides a number of useful capabilities. Professors can set due-dates and time limits for tests and with support from the Top Hat team can also digitize Scantron and paper exams. This also includes autograding functionality to reduce the effort associated with marking.

Enhanced Support to enable the transition to remote learning

We understand that taking on new technology at this time may increase the burden on faculty. For this reason we have assembled a number of support resources, including live webinars and recordings to help professors transition their course materials and lectures as smoothly as possible. We are also offering live dedicated support to answer questions and provide any hands-on assistance needed to transition content to the Top Hat platform.

Keeping our services up and running

Top Hat operates in multiple countries around the world and has taken a number of precautions to ensure our employees remain safe and healthy. This includes the ability to support remote working arrangements for all employees. Our service delivery model uses cloud-based technology, which incorporates built-in redundancies and the ability to scale up resources instantly to meet any increase in demand. We remain confident in our ability to provide the same high-quality experience as usual.

It has always been important to us to contribute positively to the communities we serve. This is especially important at a time like this and we are committed to helping as many people as possible. For more information about how Top Hat is supporting college professors during the COVID-19 outbreak, please follow the link.

Get Started Quickly

Ready to Apply?

Our team is comprised of world-class mentors and specialists that drive our startups to success. If your passionate about the technology, the startup community we would love to hear from you!