Professor: Question Grading Options (New Top Hat)

All student responses to Top Hat questions can be graded on correctness and/or participation. It’s up to you as the professor to decide how you’d like to distribute the grades!

If the question has a correct answer identified then students can be awarded grades for answering correctly. If it’s a polling style question with no correct answer identified then of course there will be no correctness points up for grabs.

Should you choose to award participation grades for a question these will be allocated to any student who responds to the question, regardless of whether or not they answer correctly. Student receive participation points just for having participated in the question.

Sample Grading
In the example below, if a student were to answer the question incorrectly they would earn 1 point just for having submitted an answer. Meanwhile, a student who answered the question correctly would earn a total of 5 points (1 point for participating in the question + 4 points for answering the question correctly).

Default Grades
Every time you create a new Top Hat question the default grades associated with the question will be 0.5 points for correctness and 0.5 points for participation. These can of course be changed on a question by question basis as you’re building out your course content. If you find that there is a pattern you’re likely to use for most of your questions you can also change the default grades to reflect this. For further information on how to change the default grades for your course please see here: link: Professor: Editing your Course Settings (New Top Hat)

Best Practices
Some professors are only interested in correctness grades - they want to ensure their students know the material and they aren’t interested in participation grades. Other professors are more interested in simply having a record of which students were actively participating, so one might think that setting correctness to zero and awarding all points to participation would be the way to go. However, many professors experience great success when they award at least a portion of the grade to correctness. The reason this is the case is because if students know the quality of their response doesn’t matter they may have a tendency to submit anything without really thinking about the question. Assigning even a fraction of the grade to correctness can be enough incentive for students to contemplate the question and, as a result, give you a much more accurate understanding of your students’ level of comprehension on that concept.

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.