Top Hat offers its online learning platform for free, amid growing COVID-19 concerns

STANFORD, CA - MARCH 09: A study space remains closed due to Coronavirus fears at Stanford University on March 9, 2020 in Stanford, California. Stanford University announced that classes will be held online for the remainder of the winter quarter after a staff member working in a clinic tested positive for the Coronavirus. Philip Pacheco/Getty Images/AFP

By U2B Staff 

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In response to COVID-19, online teaching software provider, Top Hat has announced that it will be making its platform free of charge across universities and colleges across North America, to circumnavigate the impacts of COVID-19.

This initiative comes as colleges and universities across North America are facing unprecedented disruption mainly led by mandatory lockdowns that come into play to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Many universities have made the tough decision of putting the semester on pause and even closing campus indefinitely. At present, an increasing number of institutions are looking at options to deliver course content to students remotely.

Education technology provider, Top Hat is poised to be the perfect partner in helping professors and universities deliver learning to students all around the globe.

In an unprecedented effort, Top Hat is now making its platform available free of charge for the rest of the semester to support educators who have current, active classes, and need to transition their classes online in order to complete the semester.


Top Hat aims to help universities move towards remote teaching seamlessly. To achieve this, Top Hat will provide dedicated training, support agents, and all the resources professors and universities need to quickly set up an online classroom.

This platform will enable professors to host a live class remotely, cancel classes and deliver content via readings and assignments, and replace in-person tests and exams with open-book online exams.

Commenting on this development, Top Hat’s Director of Communications, Dianna Lai Read said, “Our focus is on ensuring the least amount of disruption to students’ education by supporting educators as best as we can. That’s why we are making Top Hat’s platform free of charge for the rest of the semester to support educators transitioning to remote teaching and learning.”

Top Hat’s active learning platform provides the tools to facilitate effective remote learning to support lectures who have cancelled classes.

This can be achieved through its double-pronged approach by supporting live virtual classroom teaching and learning and enabling self-paced learning.


SEATTLE, WA – MARCH 06: Students at the University of Washington are on campus for the last day of in-person classes on March 6, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. The University will close starting Monday, March 9, as a precautionary reaction to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19, outbreak for the remainder of the winter quarter. The student in the gas mask said he was wearing it because all the regular masks were sold out. Karen Ducey/Getty Images/AFP


The Top Hat platform supports a live, virtual classroom environment

Top Hat can be used in conjunction with live streaming applications like Zoom, GoToMeeting, and YouTube Live to deliver learning via a virtual classroom. The platform comes equipped with remote attendance marking capabilities and students will be able to access lecture slides and participate in live interactive questions and discussion threads.


Lecture and delivery quality will be top-notch

The platform also guarantees that the quality and integrity of lecture delivery will not be compromised. Top Hat allows professors to monitor students’ understanding and progress through self-paced learning materials with a modular, all-in-one-place setup. This tool will present students with mandatory assessments as they work through recorded lectures, reading materials and other media.


Top Hat facilitates collaborative learning

The platform supports and facilitates discussions, that can be embedded anywhere in the learning materials hosted online. This will foster collaborative learning in classes being delivered remotely.


Students will receive the support they require

While the element of face to face monitoring will be missing from remote classes, lecturers will be able to build deliver formative and summative assessments to gauge student comprehension. Lecturers will then be able to zoom in and identify those in need of additional support.


The company is able to achieve all of this through its cloud-based technology which incorporates built-in redundancies and the ability to scale up resources instantly to meet any increase in demand. The cloud-based infrastructure guarantees that all existing and new users will be able to use the platform and enjoy its high-quality delivery seamlessly.