Professor: Teaching multiple sections of the same course?

If you teach multiple sections of the same course you may find yourself stumped - do I create one Top Hat course and have all of my students enroll in it? or should I create a unique Top Hat course for each of my sections? Below is a breakdown for each of these approaches.

One Top Hat course for all sections combined:

  • recommended if there is fluidity, in that students can choose to attend any section
  • combined Top Hat gradebook for all sessions
  • no need to transfer content between Top Hat courses
  • if you choose to take attendance, keep in mind that each students’ maximum attendance grade will be a construct of the number of sections you have (ex. maximum attendance score for each student will be 50% if you have 2 sections, 33% if you have 3 sections, etc.) - it is important that you make students aware of this in order to avoid confusion
  • if you ask a question while teaching Section 1, but fail to ask the same question when teaching Section 2, the students in Section 2 would actually be marked as unanswered/incorrect and receive 0. This is not an issue if you teach the same way for all sections.

A Top Hat course for each section (ie. multiple Top Hat courses):

  • each course can be managed and run independently, meaning that you can ask whatever questions you want and you don’t have to worry about ensuring you teach each section identically
  • no need to create your content twice, simply use our Course Packs (Old Top Hat) or Copy and Dulicate (New Top Hat) features to transfer content from one Top Hat course to another
  • each section has it's own unique gradebook
  • on account of the gradebook being specific to each section, students are required to attend the section in which they are enrolled
  • the attendance module will reflect accurate student attendance grades

Should having a unique Top Hat course for each of your sections be the best option for you, you can find instructions on creating a new Top Hat course here: Professor: Creating Additional Courses

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.