Professor: Creating a Sorting Question (New Top Hat)

Sorting questions have students sort or rank items according to the criteria you assign (for example alphabetical, numerical, east to west, largest to smallest, etc.). To create a sorting question, click on the blue Create button in the upper left hand corner of your screen. A pop-up menu will appear and you’ll simply want to select Questions, followed by the Sorting Question option.

From there you will be provided w/ the question building framework in which to build your sorting question. You’ll want to begin by inputting a unique title for your question.

Attach Image
If you’d like to attach an image to accompany your question, simply click where it says Attach Image and select an image from your computer’s hard drive.

Setting the Correct Answer
When you are creating your sorting question you want to build it in such a way that you insert the values in the correct order, identifying for Top Hat what the correct answer is. To add more values you can click the blue + Add. When the question is asked, the values will be randomized. 

Question Grading
You can now decide how you’d like to grade your question. By default these values are set to half a point for correctness and half a point for participation, but these values can be changed to anything you’d like, they don’t have to add to 1, and they can be set to zero.

In the example above, a student who answers incorrectly would be awarded 0.25 points just for having submitted an answer, whereas a student who answered correctly would be awarded 1 point (0.25 participation points + 0.75 correctness points).

Correctness grades will be awarded to students who correctly sort all of the values. No partial grades will be awarded to students who sort some values into the correct order, but not all values.

Response Timer
You can also choose to set a timer on the question and limit the amount of time your students have to answer the question. The timer will commence the moment you activate the question so if you choose to use a timer, ensure you provide enough time for your students to read and answer the question. To set a timer, click where it says Never and select your preferred duration from the provided list. 

Allow Students to Answer Anonymously
Lastly, should you want your students to answer the question anonymously, simply click the box next to this option. Please note that when this option is selected you will not be able to see what individuals answer. Only aggregated results will be available, and this question cannot be graded. Further, this setting cannot be changed after the question is created.

Review Options
Hints and explanations allow you to provide feedback to your students as they use your Top Hat questions to review course material and prepare for exams! They won't be available for students to view until later in the summer, but you can start building them in your Top Hat questions right away! For a more detailed explanation of how to use this great feature in your questions, please see here: Professor: Hints and Explanations in Questions (New Top Hat)


When you’re happy with the question you have created simply click Save in the bottom right corner. Your newly created question will appear at the bottom of your course dashboard to be added to a folder or even embedded into your slide presentation if you choose.

Sorting Question Reporting
After presenting your sorting question and receiving student responses, you'll likely want to view the results. Just like with any other Top Hat question, clicking on the graph icon at the bottom of your presented question will reveal the reports page. For sorting questions that will be the most popular order as calculated using the borda count method which simply means that each value or option is awarded points based on how they were ranked, and then the values are ranked based on the number of points they received.

When you click on the check mark icon to reveal the correct answer this will reorder your list to display the correctly sorted list, and identify for you what percentage of students answered the question correctly.

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 Contact Support button on this page, or calling us at 1-888-663-5491.