Audience Response System

Educational Technology will be supporting the campus chosen Audience Response System (ARS) tool, Top Hat.

Top Hat is a student engagement system that allows you to ask questions, take polls, give quizzes, and receive feedback from your students during class. Top Hat is a bring-your-own-device solution, which means that students can use any web-enabled device (laptop, tablets, smartphones) to participate. Top Hat also allows for text messaging to submit answers, so students can use older cell phone, too.


  • Cloud-based
  • Free for instructors
  • Bring-your-own-device solution


  • Source Address
  • Destination Address
  • Port
  • Business case/reason

Getting Started


Guidance from your instructor will be provided about how Top Hat will be used within your course. Please keep in mind that instructors can chose to use Top Hat differently; some may choose to send you an email invitation to their course and others may simply provide you with an access code in class.

For instructions on signing up, see Top Hat – Account Setup (Students) (UW-Madison).

Top Hat provides extensive, very helpful support documentation about their product. Please see their support website for documentation, including tutorials, that will show you how to log on and get started with Top Hat.


Instructors interested in using Top Hat have several options for getting started:

  • Sign up and create an account. For instructions, see Top Hat – Account Setup (Instructors) (UW-Madison) .
  • For a product demonstration and an overview of product features, please contact the UW-Madison Top Hat representative:
    Maggie O’Rourke, Enterprise Account Director @ or 647-291-2573
  • For extensive product documentation, including tutorials, please see the Top Hat Success Center.
  • For ideas about how to use Top Hat in your course, please contact DoIT Academic Technology’s learning technology consultants at or (608) 262-5667.
  • For information about UW-Madison’s agreement with Top Hat, including pricing questions, departments/courses already using Top Hat, policies, concerns, and so on, please contact DoIT Academic Technology at or (608) 262-5667.


Top Hat is a cloud-based software-only SRS product, free of charge to instructors. Students are required to purchase a subscription in order to use the product. Purchasing a subscription enables a student to use Top Hat with an unlimited number of active courses (courses occurring during the subscription period).
UW-Madison students receive reduced subscription prices for Top Hat:

  • One semester (4 months) – $16 (This option cannot be upgraded to a year.)
  • One year (12 months) – $20
  • Lifetime (5 years) – $54

Available To

SMPH Faculty, Staff, and Students

Contact EdTech

Service Resources