Congratulations! Another year is almost in the books. At Top Hat, we applaud your commitment to personalized, meaningful teaching. That’s why we’re excited to unveil this year’s Top Hat Graded: a behind-the-scenes look at how you and your students interacted with our platform in 2023. From time spent designing questions to how educators are using our new AI-powered assistant, here’s what we found.

Meet Ace: Our AI-powered assistant that leads to greater time-savings during course prep

You committed to active learning more than ever

How have you incorporated active learning into your lessons this year? Many educators turned to Top Hat. More than 20,900 professors used our engagement platform in 2023 to teach just under 1.3 million students in total. The most effective educators recognize that retrieval practice, a study technique that involves recalling information, can greatly help students absorb and retain information. It’s why thousands of faculty chose to create questions in our app to assess student understanding on the fly and ensure they provided timely and tailored feedback to keep all learners on track.

A card that reads: "You put the 'active' in active learning this year."

You questioned everything this year

Are small, low-stakes quizzes the best way to measure understanding? Is personalized learning the way forward? You believed so. Educators created more than 18.7 million interactive questions in 2023. Of that number, 14.2 million (accounting for 76 percent of all questions created), were multiple choice questions. Our second-most popular question type was fill-in-the-blank, with numeric-based questions taking the bronze medal. 

Of course, it can be challenging to dedicate so much time to designing assessments with competing lecturing, research, grading and committee responsibilities. Let’s estimate it takes at least five minutes to create a single multiple choice question. Educators spent more than 1,183,801 hours—equal to just over 135 years—creating multiple choice questions this year.

A card that reads: "You weren't afraid to ask a lot of your students."

So what to do in the new year? Top Hat Ace generates AI-powered questions that make it easier and faster to create and integrate low-stakes assessments into any course. Ace doesn’t just allow for greater time-savings during the assessment creation process. You’ll also have full control over your course and content used to quiz students by being able to customize questions, hints and explanations to your liking. Try it out today.

You rewrote the rules on student engagement

Being greeted by a group of disengaged students in your auditorium may be an unfortunate reality for some instructors. But it doesn’t have to be the norm. Faculty who used Top Hat reported a spike in motivation, as evidenced by the following data. More than 386,000 students answered discussion questions—allowing for deep reflection on everything from supply and demand to genetics and child development. That’s not all: nearly 1.1 million students answered interactive questions in and out of class this year.

Student engagement extends far beyond the walls of your classroom. Ace can ensure students receive the personalized study support they need to persist through quizzes run outside of class time. With a click of a button, students can access relevant responses built from the context of their course material. For example, if you’re teaching an introductory unit on supply and demand, learners can access helpful hints that refer to the material you’re quizzing them on. On top of that, students receive immediate feedback on their progress giving them additional opportunities to practice and build upon their understanding of topics.

You supercharged your course with AI-powered tools

When combined with educators’ own efforts to make teaching more engaging and personalized, AI has the potential to level up education. Ace is just under two months old, but is already having a profound impact on teaching and learning. More than 70 professors (and growing) had a chance to use Ace in the fall 2023 term. What does that mean for students? More than 4,800 learners are now receiving immediate support when completing assignments. Just as promising, instructors have created more than 2,250 AI-powered questions so far—saving countless hours when creating multiple choice tests.

Ace isn’t cut from the same cloth as ChatGPT. The difference comes down to context. When you ask a question in ChatGPT, the relevance of the response you get depends on the quality of your prompt and the context provided in your question. Since Ace operates alongside course materials and has contextual knowledge of what is being studied, it can address student questions with relevant responses that are based on the specific course contents. Students get the help they need, when and where they need it, without having to be prompt engineers. Join the educators at the growing number of institutions who are using Ace to streamline study support and course preparation. Request access now.

A card that reads: "You loved giving teaching and learning an AI-powered boost."

On behalf of the Top Hat team, we wish you a successful start to the new semester and year.

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