Student Quick Start Guide: Texas Department of Transportation

Welcome to Top Hat! This guide will help you to register a student account and understand how to use Top Hat for your course with the Texas Department of Transportation.

Logging into Top Hat

  1. Go to tophat.com and click the login button in the top right hand corner of the screen.
  2. Type Texas Department of Transportation into the school field.
  3. Enter your username and password in the respective fields.
  4. Select the Login button.
  5. You will automatically be taken to the course menu. Any questions that are being asked will be displaying in this view. You will be able to choose choose questions and files from the side bar on the left.

Creating an Account:

If you don't already have a previous Top Hat account or a temporary account, open a web browser and navigate to tophat.com/register/student/

  • If you have the 6-digit course code, enter it in. Otherwise, type Texas Department of Transportation and select it from the drop-down before hitting 'Next'

  • Enter your name, work email address, the username you'd like to use, and password. If it's already in use, verify that you don't already have a Top Hat account

  • You will then be asked to enter your Student Identifier in the Student ID field. You do NOT need to fill out this field as you have no such ID. Select the blue text that says, "Skip, I will add this later"
  • Enter your mobile phone number. This will link your phone to your account, should you ever submit an answer to Top Hat via text message. The Top Hat system will send you a verification text message as conformation. If you don't own a mobile phone and will be participating with a laptop or tablet device, don't sweat it! Simply click, "Skip, I don't want to use my phone."
  • Find your course from the available list of classes. You can search by the instructor or by the name of the course. Once you find your course in the list, simply click the "Enroll" button to continue.
  • You will automatically be taken to the course menu. Any questions that are being asked will be displaying in this view. You will be able to choose choose questions and files from the side bar on the left.

Congratulations! You've just created your Top Hat student account!

Accessing Top Hat

Once you have an account, you can log in by visiting tophat.com/login from your web browser and typing in your username and password. It’s usually a good idea to consider bookmarking this login page for quick access! If you are new to Top Hat, please check out our Orientation Page to learn all the need-to-knows about your account. 

Answering Questions

Now that you’re enrolled in your course, it’s time to answer a few questions! You can use any of the following methods:

Laptop, tablet, or web-enabled smartphone

You can submit answers by accessing the Top Hat web interface using a web browser. There are known compatibility issues with Internet Explorer, so we highly recommend using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Safari instead. If you’re using a smartphone, please installing a copy of Google Chrome from your phone’s app store or try the native Android or Safari web browser that came standard with your device.

All active items should appear on the left side of your screen depending on how your instructor decides to use the system.

If you can’t see anything, your instructor either disabled reviewing questions or no items have been created yet.

Mobile App Submissions

Great news! Android and iPhone users can download the free Top Hat app from Google Play or the Apple App Store. You can visit the Android or iOS Support Pages to learn more about the different applications and how to install them on your own phone. We're happy to say the apps are free! 

SMS Submissions

You can submit answers in class using any phone by sending a message to your course’s texting number. The number is displayed on the right side of your screen as well as your instructor’s screen. Each question is assigned a unique 4-digit ID; this is also displayed on your instructor’s screen. Texting in answers is very simple, and we can help walk you through the process of getting started here.'

Offline Mode submissions

There might be times when you do not have good signal to text in answers, and your connection to wifi is weak. What do you do? Don't worry, we have a third method for submitting answers! Offline mode stores your submissions on your phone until you are reconnected to the internet. To learn how to use offline mode, please visit our Offline Mode Support Page. 

Common error messages

There are a few common error messages you may receive throughout the term, especially if you are texting in responses to Top Hat. To learn what the messages mean and how to resolve the issue, please visit our Common Errors Support Page

Checking your grades

If you’d like to see how you’re doing in a course, access Top Hat from a computer or your mobile application and view your Gradebook. We highly recommend that you keep track of your grades and check the gradebook often. The gradebook will show you an overview of all active, answered and unanswered items in your course 

The gradebook will give a general breakdown of both your grades as well as attendance. From here you can review the questions asked in your course as well as what you submitted. The gradebook is broken down into different sections for ease of navigation. 

Support

Your instructor is extremely busy and is only a user of our system, just like you!

If you need any additional support, we've got you covered. 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; support@tophat.com.

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