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Free Top Hat Basic Allows for Live Streaming and Recording of Class

Top Hat Basic

Top Hat is launching a version of its program that will assist faculty in embedding active learning into their remote classes. The recently announced Top Hat Basic will be available free to students and professors in time for the fall 2020 semester, the company said.

According to Top Hat, the software enables instructors to:

  • Take attendance, do live chatting, host discussions and add polling and quizzing with interactive questions;
  • Do live streaming of lectures and class meetings, including the use of slides, but without the need to use an external videoconferencing program;
  • Record presentations that allow for interactive viewing afterwards; students can watch the class on-demand while still participating in discussions, answering quiz questions and reviewing live chats; and
  • Monitor a weekly course report that recaps students' performance and identifies those who need intervention.

The functionality provided by the free version is a subset of a "pro" version, which includes:

  • Live assessments, remote proctoring and the ability to provide in-line instructor feedback;
  • A gradebook and auto-grading;
  • LMS data export; and
  • The ability to embed videos and simulations.

The pro version is $30 per student per four-month term ($48 for the school year), which is charged to the student. Additional add-ons include the use of interactive textbooks and remote proctored exams.

"Making students feel connected to their learning processes, to their instructors and to teach other is always challenging. Doing so in this online environment is even more so," said Top Hat CEO Mike Silagadze, in a video about the launch. "We're truly excited to help educators realize just how much better online and blended courses can be, and that's all about empowering you, the educators, with the tools that you need to engage students and help them unleash their potential, whatever the situation requires."

Learn more on the company's website.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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