If you’re just getting started with Top Hat and wondering how to use it to its full potential, help is at hand. At Top Hat, we run regular Top Hat Certification courses covering course authoring, textbook editing, classroom engagement and assignments, all from a teacher-focused perspective.
Top Hat Certification is open to all existing Top Hat customers who want to use our core features to the fullest. The entire course is taught on Top Hat, so you can get an idea how those on the other side of the lectern feel. All told, it takes 2½– 3½ hours to complete.
Earning a Top Hat Certification is a great way to build and share knowledge, gain experience using successful teaching strategies and stand out as an educator with mastery of technology in content delivery. When you complete the course, you will receive an official electronic certificate that can be shared with your professional network on LinkedIn.
Want to know what to expect from a Top Hat Certification course? It’s comprised of three parts: a foundation, a choice of electives and an optional meet-and-greet. Here’s a brief taste of the syllabus.
Top Hat Certification Foundations
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The Top Hat Certification teachers are drawn from our pool of educational experts, such as Michael Di Gregorio and Sanja Resanovic. These professionals work with our engineering team to develop features that professors really need; they then work with professors to make the most out of them.
The first segment of Certification, the foundation course, makes sure you are comfortable with the end-to-end capabilities of Top Hat, as well as the features that can be used for effective teaching before, during, and after class.
As well as training in the basics of Top Hat—how to engage students and find textbooks in the Marketplace—you will learn best practices and tools to help you engage students with technology. There will be a specific focus on open educational resources (OER); something that can save you time when your create your course and save your students money.
And yes, in the spirit of keeping students accountable, there’s a (small) test at the end.
Choose your own adventure
After taking and passing the foundation session, you can then attend one elective. Each course at each location is different, but here are some of the subjects offered:
- Using Real-time Assessment to Improve Comprehension
- Flipping the Classroom and Active Learning
- Teaching Efficiently and Effectively
- Making your Course Content more Engaging, Specialized and Customized
- Maximizing Student Engagement in Class
Like the foundation course, these electives are not just built from the perspective of learning to use the app, but from concrete, real-life teaching scenarios.
For instance, Using Real-time Assessment to Improve Comprehension will cover how to customize assignments for formative or summative assessment and best practices for how to use the time before, during and after class to increase student comprehension. And for those who haven’t flipped a classroom before, Flipping the Classroom and Active Learning will cover the structure and benefits of the tactic and start you off by building a flipped learning course in Top Hat.
Talk to Top Hatters
One of the most popular Certification sessions at our Chicago conference was a meet and greet with Top Hat’s product team. It remains optional—but it’s quite often one of the most well-received parts of the certification course.
This is an opportunity for professors to come and talk to us about some of the upcoming or major trends in higher education and the challenges they’re facing.
How and when to get your own Top Hat Certification
We run regular certification sessions on campuses that have officially signed up to Top Hat, as well as at our own conferences. Ask your onboarder when the next Certification Class is happening near you.