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Top Hat Instructor Guide

Top Hat Lecture is a classroom response system that is available for instructors at MSU to engage students with interactive content during their classroom lectures. Students use their own mobile devices to answer questions, view annotated slides, join in discussions, and enter attendance codes if used. When the instructor’s Top Hat site is integrated with a D2L, the Top Hat roster and overall grade can be synced with the D2L course site.

Top Hat is available at no cost to instructors. MSU faculty and staff who are interested in learning more, or adopting Top Hat in their classroom, can inquire at the MSU Top Hat portal.

Students need to set up a separate account in Top Hat and pay a subscription fee in order to use the system. Students pay one fee for access to unlimited courses during that time period. Information on subscription pricing can be found at the following site: Tophat Pricing.

Before using Top Hat, please contact the Help Desk to verify that the wireless access is capable of supporting the class size in the room(s) you are teaching in. The Help Desk can be contacted at 432-6200 or

What you need to get up and running with Top Hat:

  • an Internet connection
  • a mobile phone (Android and iOS), tablet, or laptop. You can also submit answers in class using an older generation phone by sending a text message (more details below).
  • a paid subscription to your Top Hat account

Account Creation and Enrollment

  1. Go to, click on Sign-up and select Professor.
  2. Next select your school, Michigan State University.
  3. Choose the Next button to continue.
  4. Fill out the information form provided.
  5. Read and agree to the Terms and Conditions.
  6. Choose the Next button to continue.
  7. Fill out the course information form.
  8. Choose the Next button to continue.

Using Top Hat

After you have created your account and filled out the course information you will be directed into the course page. This will provide you links to accessing content, the gradebook, or the roster by using the “Content,” “Gradebook,” and “Students” tabs respectively.

From the Content tab you can choose the “Create” button to select the content items that you will want to create for your course. This will allow you to create folders full of questions where you can present them to the students and they can interactively answer questions during class.

Additionally you can upload materials that can be presented in lectures or accessed later. Attendance is also available under the Content tab which allows you to easily take attendance during class.

Students are able to easily answer questions or mark their attendance by using a laptop or mobile device.

Find out more:

D2L integration and syncing Top Hat grades

See the following to sync your course, Professor: Learning Management System (LMS) Integration

Once the course is synced, look for an LMS Sync button by the Export button in the Top Hat Gradebook. You may need to use an export/import process to bring over individual grade items. Contact the MSU helpdesk or Top Hat support for assistance.

Trouble signing up or accessing your account

If you have any trouble signing up for your Top Hat account, see the following websites for more details and screenshots. If you are still having issues, contact the support options listed further below.


Contact the IT Services Help Desk at (517) 432-6200, (844) 678-6200, or, for help with D2L or help setting up your Top Hat account.

Contact the Top Hat support team for further assistance by way of email at, the Contact Support area of their website, or calling (888) 663-5491.

MSU Documentation