University of Wisconsin–Madison

04.22.16 TopHat with Laurie Brachman

Laurie BrachmanLaurie Brachman from Marketing shared how she uses TopHat, an interactive personal response system, to engage and track her 700-student class. (Spoiler: she likes it much more than iClickers).

Activity Sheet • Active Teaching Lab full schedule

Laurie’s TopHat Story


  • UW–Madison supports this tool and has negotiated price for students down to $16/semester, $20/year; $54/5-years.
  • Discussion capabilities allow for “live back-channel” discussions during class (like a Twitter feed).
  • Multiple choice questions are easiest for all students.
  • Windows products are generally good, but Mac tools need work. TopHat doesn’t announce updates, so keep on it.
  • Its presentation tool is not currently compatible with PowerPoint presenter mode (need to mirror screen).
  • Customer service is generally responsive (and needed).

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