Professor: How do Anonymous Discussions work? (Old Top Hat)

 Sharing and responding to others without direct acknowledgement or identification is one of the most powerful aspects of engaging in a digital environment.

Top Hat harnesses anonymity and puts it to use in the classroom to create new pedagogical opportunities.

Anonymous Discussions

You can create two different types of anonymous Discussions on Top Hat.

  1. Anonymous 1-on-1 feedback Discussions.
  2. Anonymous community Discussions.
  • Anonymous Discussions provide a safe forum where shy, anxious or less-confident students may ask questions and share ideas freely and honestly. 

How to create an Anonymous 1-on-1 feedback Discussion

  1. Create a new Discussion
  2. Enter the discussion topic.

  3. Select Responses can be seen: 'Only by professor'

  4. Check the box: 'Participants are anonymous to the Professor and can't be graded'

    *Note* Student submissions can only be seen by the professor.

    How to create an Anonymous community Discussion

  • Community Discussions can be created with 3 different levels of anonymity:

    • No one: Students are identified by their username and may respond directly to each other's comments in a Discussion. 
    • Everyone (can't be graded): All students usernames are displayed as 'hidden'. Students are completely anonymous to each other and to the professor. 
    • Fellow participants only: Students are anonymous to each other. Professor may toggle student identification with '(show)' button. Useful for maintaining a degree of accountability over students Discussion comments.
  1. Create a new Discussion.
  2. Enter the Discussion topic.

  3. Select Responses can be seen: 'By everyone'

  4. Select level of anonymity.

    Note: Identifying comments made by specific students is impossible when selecting 'Everyone (can't be graded)'.

As always, we are here to help! If you have any questions please call 1-888-663-5491 or email Top Hat Support at Have a great term!



  • Avatar
    Jennifer Emery

    Could you explain how to view the comments? Is there a way to export them, because right now I have difficult scrolling up and down to view them.

  • Avatar
    Brennen Green

    Hi Jennifer!

    Thanks for leaving your comment!

    For information on how to export your discussions (with responses) to excel, please just click here.

    If you have any other questions or if there is anything else we can do to potentially assist- please don't hesitate to drop us a line at

    Brennen Green
    Senior Product Specialst