These days everyone has smartphones, tablets and computers and they are constantly using them, anywhere, everywhere.. even in a classroom! When you look around a classroom you often see students sitting passively listening and taking notes on their devices and some are even checking social media or watching a funny video of a cat. The question thus arises:
How do professors get the attention of students?
This is where Top Hat comes in! Top Hat is an application that makes it easy for professors to:
- Engage their students
- Check readings
- Take attendance and participation
- Increase engagement and comprehension.
Top Hat takes those same mobile devices and turns them into engagement tools. Instead of texting friends, students use their mobile devices to interact with the Top Hat application. Top Hats value proposition is that it offers a complete education platform for inside and outside the lecture room for both the students and professors.
So how does it work?
Top Hat’s business model revolves around selling their product directly to professors and students by offering three products including Top Hat Marketplace, Top Hat Lecture and Top Hat Interactive Text which consist of pre-made content that offer a variety of media such as text, videos and interactive elements that help students study. Through Top Hat Lecture professors can create a community for their students on the Top Hat platform and they can customise their classes making them more interactive and more engaging for their students.
Professors can upload their existing slides, create new slides in the platform or find expert course materials by other professors world-wide. The Top Hat Market provides everything from presentation to question packs to course notes. At the beginning of the class, students enter a special code to confirm their attendance hence saying goodbye to pieces of paper going around the classroom. During the lecture the professor runs Top Hat right
from their tablet allowing them to walk around the class and mark up the slides while students can view the slides on their devices. Top Hat makes it easy to engage new students in new, creative ways. The discussion model on Top Hat allows the professor to question students, and in return students can reply either publicly or anonymously and rate their favourite comments. This way it boosts engagement especially for students who normally don’t participate. This is due to the ‘Online Disinhibation effect’, which is the tendency for people to say or do things online that they typically wouldn’t in the in-person world (Suler 321-326). Moreover, Top Hat also allows for on the spot quizzes. While students answer the quiz questions, Top Hat generates a report in real time on the results. Moreover, Top Hat gradebook shows how the entire class is doing throughout the semester. This provides professors with up to date information on students complete coursework, their test scores and their attendance and therefore cutting administration time for professors.
Co-Value Creation within Top Hat
Top Hat is a win-win situation for both the professors and the students. Professors benefit from Top Hat as it is dependable, cloud based and provide cost savings. Moreover, professors co-create educational value by sharing their class materials and increasing the educational level. On the other side, students also benefit from the platform as it makes the learning experience more engaging, more exciting, and more interactive. Students can participate in discussions, rate each other work and develop their knowledge by sharing work, opinions and ideas.Students also get more value out of their education and save around 80% vs. traditional books. By replacing traditional books with online content, less books are printed and used hence providing Top Hat a sustainable advantage. Moreover, Top Hat provides around the clock support through including instructional designers to help professors make their lectures engaging and educational.
Top Hat satisfied the feasibility of required reallocation criteria. and covers several institutional arrangements. The key to success for Top Hat is both parties being actively involved in using the platform. Professors should solely use this form of sharing content with the students while contributing engaging content on the platform. In turn, students will be more actively involved in the platform and as well contribute more.
Say goodbye to the passive traditional learning experience and say hello to exciting, engaging and active classes!
“Home – Top Hat”. Top Hat. N.p., 2017. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.
Suler, John. “The Online Disinhibition Effect”. CyberPsychology & Behavior 7.3 (2004): 321-326. Web.