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HATS OFF TO TOP HAT. Thanks to the new agreement, students on all eight IU campuses now have access to no-cost educational tools, as well as affordable or free interactive course materials.

IU expands partnership with Top Hat to provide learning tools at no cost

Enterprise license agreement designed to increase engagement and support learning via interactive tools and content accessed via students’ personal devices

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.—In a move to help increase student engagement and defray college costs, Indiana University today announces a new enterprise license agreement with Top Hat, provider of the leading cloud-based teaching platform for higher education. Through this expanded partnership, more than 114,000 students on all eight of Indiana University campuses will have access to best-in-class educational tools at no additional cost, as well as affordable or free, high-quality and interactive course materials from Top Hat.

In 2017, IU chose Top Hat Classroom as its preferred student engagement platform. Students paid for access and used their existing mobile devices to increase in-class engagement and deliver real-time feedback to professors. Last year, IU students spent $665,000 on Top Hat licenses.


The decision to partner with Top Hat really boils down to its innovative, user-friendly design and our commitment to providing best-in-class tools for student learning. And if we can do that at no cost to our students, all the better.

Matt Gunkel, IU director of teaching and learning technology

Following a successful year that has seen Top Hat Classroom become one of the most used tools at the institution, IU has expanded the partnership to offer all IU students on all campuses access to Classroom, as well as Top Hat’s interactive cloud-based teaching platform, designed to engage students with interactive content, tools, and assessments inside and outside the classroom. Instructors can now successfully create active learning environments via interactive slides, graded questions, customized content, videos, discussions, and polls.

“The decision to partner with Top Hat really boils down to its innovative, user-friendly design and our commitment to providing best-in-class tools for student learning,” said Matt Gunkel, IU director of teaching and learning technology. “And if we can do that at no cost to our students, all the better.”

All students at Indiana University now have access to Top Hat Classroom. In addition, students will also have access to Top Hat Textbook, Top Hat Attention and Attendance, and Top Hat Assignment. These additional tools will be piloted beginning in fall 2018. Top Hat Textbook helps instructors improve learning with high-quality and interactive educational content. Instructors choose from more than 20,000 free and affordable course materials created with Top Hat Textbook in the Top Hat Marketplace, a game-changing resource for customizable educational content, allowing professors to publish, share, and collaborate with peers. Top Hat Attention and Attendance is a mobile app that automatically takes attendance and rewards students for staying focused during class. Top Hat Assignment enables educators to create, personalize, and track homework for students.

Since it was rolled out last year, Top Hat has earned a faculty following. “Top Hat is easy to use, very intuitive and it’s quick to set up because there’s virtually no tutorial support needed,” said Kathleen Marrs, IU associate professor of biology. “And it really does engage students. It gets them talking to each other, participating and thinking critically about the material in class.”

“Active learning strategies like taking polls and responding to questions on their own smartphone or other personal device increase student engagement and learning in the classroom,” said Stacy Morrone, IU associate vice president for learning technologies. “This focus on engagement also reflects IU’s commitment to active learning, including our highly successful Mosaic Initiative.”

“Throughout the past year, we’ve had the opportunity to work closely with faculty who have been incredibly committed to improving student development,” said Mike Silagadze, co-founder and CEO, Top Hat. “With our expanded partnership, Indiana University is further enabling student success by providing access to high-quality and affordable educational content, effectively widening participation in higher education. We look forward to continuing our work together to set a new standard for how forward-thinking and engaged institutions are setting up their students for success.”

About Indiana University
Founded in 1820, Indiana University is one of the United States’ top public universities. With more than 114,000 students and 9,200 faculty on eight campuses, IU is also one of the largest institutions of higher education in the United States. Its annual budget for all eight campuses totals over $3 billion. Each one of the eight IU campuses is an accredited, four-year degree-granting institution. The largest and oldest IU campus is in Bloomington.

About Top Hat
Top Hat’s interactive, cloud-based teaching platform enables professors to engage students inside and outside the classroom with compelling content, tools and activities. Millions of students at 750 leading North American colleges and universities use the Top Hat teaching platform. To learn more, visit