Information Services

Introduction to Top Hat

Top Hat - A New Electronic Voting System (EVS) for the University of Edinburgh


A new web-based system, called Top Hat, will be introduced in Summer 2015. This is a fully featured, modular system where staff can choose how much functionality they wish to see and use for each course they teach on.

Electronic voting systems allow lecturers to add question and answer activities to lecture sessions to support interactivity and engagement with large groups.

Top Hat offers more questions types - up to six to choose from - as well as out of class activities, discussion channels, file sharing and gamification through a player vs player tournament mode.

Why are we changing?

Lack of supplier support makes change imperative for the service to continue.

What will this mean for me?

What is different for staff and students with the move to Top Hat?

What will I need to take part?

Top Hat is a web service and so has different requirements to the old hardware based system.

How do students connect to a session?

Students should use the University's Wi-Fi service where possible to connect to a Top Hat session.

What operating systems are supported?

Top Hat uses the web and mobile device apps to access a session.

What will it cost to vote in a session?

If set up correctly, with a web-enabled device, the service will incur no cost to students.

Is there any financial help available?

Students will have to bring a suitable device to take part but there may be help available in purchasing a device if required.

Will there be any help or support?

Who can you turn to for support with any issues arising from the use of Top Hat?

What sorts of things can you achieve with in class voting?

There is a wide range of possible uses of polling your students, here are some you might want to consider: