Professor: Editing your Course Settings (Old Top Hat)

Top Hat enables default modules and grade settings whenever a course is created, but we understand every professor has their own unique teaching style, and we try to make Top Hat customizable for each professor's preferences.

To access the settings for a course, enter the course and select the Settings tab under the Course section of your dashboard on the left side of the screen.

Upon clicking on Settings, the course settings dialog box will appear with three standard tabs: Settings, Modules, and Grades. Another tab labelled LMS will appear if you are teaching at a school with a Learning Management System (ex. BlackBoard, D2L, Canvas, or Moodle) that is synced with Top Hat.

Clicking the arrow beside Advanced Settings will allow you to change the name of the course, the course code, add a course description, and/or apply a course password. If you choose to add a password, any student trying to access the course will need to enter the password. If you enable a password after students have already enrolled in the course, they will be prompted to enter the password before gaining access to the class again.

Allow answering via text (SMS) and Offline Mode
We highly recommend keeping this setting enabled. If students encounter network or WiFi issues, they can text in their answers or use Offline Mode as back-up submission methods. You can learn more about SMS submissions here and Offline Mode submissions here.

Text message (SMS) Grace Period
On occasion, student devices may encounter service issues that delay their text message submissions. This setting allocates an extra 30 seconds for text messages to be processed after a question has closed, so student text submissions are not late. 

New report session on activation
When the box next to this option is selected, every time you re-ask a question a new "session" will automatically be created, registering student submissions separately so you can compare the results of the sessions when viewing the question's reports. Additional information on sessions and asking the same question twice can be found here: Professor: Can I ask the same Question Twice?

It is highly unlikely that you will need to do anything within the modules tab as this is an old feature that will be phased out with the upcoming release of the New Top Hat! You previously had to turn on the more advanced modules, but we've now made them default for all professors so there is no longer a need to activate them here.

By default, when you create a new Top Hat question or discussion it will automatically be assigned the grading scheme of 0.5 points for correctness and 0.5 points for participation. You can change these assigned grades on an item by item basis, but you can also choose to change the default grades if there is a standard grading scheme you're likely to use for the majority of your content items. You can also enable a timer to run by default for all questions and demos.

In the Discussion section, you can select an option labelled Students can create new topics. Typically professors choose to create all discussion topics, and have students respond to those posts. However, with this option students are able to initiate their own discussion topics, post them to your Top Hat course, and have their peers respond. It can be a great feature to facilitate conversations amongst students, however we do recommend you disable this feature when teaching large classes as your course dashboard can quickly become disorganized.  

If the university you teach at has coordinated the syncing of your campus' Learning Management System (Canvas, Blackboard, D2L, etc) with Top Hat, this is where you can sync your LMS course roster with your Top Hat course. 

Even once authenticated, syncing students' grades between the two platforms does not occur automatically. Whenever you wish to have the students' grades transferred to their LMS account, you can access your course Top Hat gradebook and click the button in the upper right-hand corner labelled LMS Sync. 

Should you require further assistance with Top Hat, our Support Team is here to help! You can contact us directly by way of email (, the in app support button, the red Can’t find what you are looking for? Ask Support! banner at the bottom of this page, or calling us at 1-888-663-5491.