Professor: Using the Presentation Tool (New Top Hat)

Top Hat’s Presentation Tool is a desktop application that has been designed to “float” inconspicuously over your favourite presentation software. Whether it’s PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi, or any other application, the Presentation Tool will save you from switching back-and-forth between windows. The Presentation Tool also lets you create and ask a Question on the fly, without having to create it in advance.

Downloading the Presentation Tool
The step in using Top Hat’s Presentation Tool is downloading it onto your computer or a USB stick that you can take with you to class. For instructions on how to download the Presentation Tool please see here: Professor: Downloading the Presentation Tool

Presentation Tool Basics
To use the Top Hat Presentation Tool in class, simply launch the desktop application and login using your account credentials.

After signing in you will be presented with the maximized Presentation Tool featuring your familiar dashboard of course content.

This maximized view is perfect for accessing your content when you need it, but during the remainder of your lecture you’ll likely want to minimize the Presentation Tool by clicking on the small minimize button in the upper right hand corner. This collapsed the Presentation Tool to a size that easy to manage and place in a corner of your presentation out of the way until you’re ready for it!


Launching Top Hat Questions
The typical lecture flow for professors using the Presentation Tool in combination with their slides or other visuals is to place the minimized Presentation Tool inconspicuously in the corner of their presentation until they’re ready to ask a Top Hat question or discussion. When the time comes in your lecture that you want to launch a prepared question or discussion, simply click on the maximize icon to view your dashboard of content, click on the title of the content item you want to launch, and click on the blue Present button that will appear. The selected question will maximize on your screen ready for students to submit.

When you think students have had enough time to respond click the turquoise pause button in the lower centre of the question screen to disable submissions and prevent further student responses. Once disabled, the graph icon will display the histogram of student responses and the checkmark icon will reveal the correct answer.

When you’re finished with the question you can click on the right advance arrow to take you to the next question if you have another question prepared immediately following this one, or clicking where it says Close in the upper left hand corner will return you to your dashboard where you can select another content item or minimize the window and return to your presentation.


Quick-Add Questions
On occasion you may have questions pre-created in your slides and not have time to build them into Top Hat, not to worry, we’ve got you covered as the Presentation Tool’s quick-ask feature allows you to create a questions on the fly! To begin, with the Presentation Tool in its minimized form, click on the blue speech bubble icon on the far left.

This will provide you with the quick-ask question creation window where you can (1) select your question type (multiple choice, word answer, or numeric answer), (2) identify if you’d like to attach a screenshot of what’s currently displayed on your screen to the soon to be created Top Hat quick-ask question, and (3) enable a timer to automatically disable submissions. Simply click on the blue Present button next to the question style you’d like to proceed with.

The question will open on your students’ devices, and students who are reliant on SMS/text message to submit will have access to the 4-digit SMS code displayed on your screen with the question.

When you think students have had enough time to respond click the pause button in the upper right to disable submissions and prevent further student responses (if you set a response timer this will be done for you automatically). Once disabled, the graph icon to the right of the pause/disable icon will display the histogram of student responses and provide you with the opportunity to set the correct answer so Top Hat can automatically grade student submissions.

When you’re finished with the question, clicking Close Question in the upper left hand corner will minimize the Presentation Tool ready to continue with your presentation.

The quick-ask question will appear in your dashboard with a generic title formatting to include quick-ask, the date, and time the question was asked, and if you chose to attach a screenshot that will be included as part of your question as well.



Taking Attendance
To take attendance using the Top Hat Presentation Tool, simply click on the orange icon of a person with their arm raised. This will initiate an attendance session and present for you the randomly generated attendance code that students can submit using their smart devices or SMS/text message. You can monitor student attendance for the session on the right hand side and when you’re ready to finish the attendance session simply click where it says Close Attendance and proceed with your lecture!

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.