Professor: Creating and Using Discussions (Old Top Hat)

Want to engage your students in complex debates?

Top Hat’s Discussions Module allows you to ask students subjective and interpretive questions that may not have a simple or absolute answer. You can also utilize the Discussions Module to gain real-time feedback during lectures by allowing students to seek clarification and assist their peers. Discussions can be worth grades (correctness and/or participation) or just used as a forum for communication.

Check out the following video tutorial to learn more, and then complete the accompanying tutorial exercises. All told, we estimate this Top Hat Orientation course will take you just 12 minutes!

The following video will show you how to:

☐ Create a Discussion

☐ Discuss and Close a Discussion

☐ Set a Discussion for Homework and Review 


Under the Discussion module, select the blue Create button. 

First you will be prompted to name the Discussion: this name is organizational, and should reflect when you'll use the Discussion (ie. Lecture 1) and what it is (ie. Question 1 - Jazz Musicians).

Next you can ask a question or suggest a topic in the Topic box. This is content to which students will respond. The two subsequent drop-down menus control privacy settings: 1)who can see the responses; 2) who the students are anonymous to. 

If you want the discussion to be graded, select the Graded check box and enter grading values for the discussion in the new fields. The Attach canvas button allows professors to attach a hand drawn image to the Discussion or upload an image from their hard drive.

Finally, hit the "Save" button at the very bottom of the page and you have now created a discussion topic! As the professor, you can respond to comments and replies not only by computer, but you can have Top Hat send you responses directly to student cell-phones if they have registered a phone number with us. You also have the power to remove offensive post.


If you need any additional support, please feel free to reach out to us. The easiest way to get in touch with us is to click Support at the bottom left-hand corner of your screen (when logged into your Top Hat Account) or click the 'Submit a Request' button in the top right-hand corner of this screen. You can also drop us a line; 1-888-663-5491 ext 1 or shoot us an email at We are happy to help resolve any issues!