Top Hat on campus

Iowa State

Wednesday, April 5 - Exclusive to Iowa State faculty & staff

Thursday, April 6 - Open to everyone




Join us for a special event celebrating the 30th anniversary of Iowa State University’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching—and the launch of the university's new enterprise partnership with Top Hat.

On Thursday, April 6, there will be a feature presentation by Dr. Todd Zakrajsek, faculty developer and author of The New Science of Learning. Dr. Zakrajsek will share insights into how you can make lectures more dynamic by incorporating active learning strategies that engage and motivate students. Plus, on both April 5 and 6 you’ll get special workshops where you’ll learn how to put dynamic lecturing into practice and use Top Hat to create affordable, customized content for your course.

Feel free to attend individual sessions or enjoy the entire program. Either way, we’re happy to have you.

Register Today

Dynamic Lecturing: Strategies for More Engaged Learning

photo of Dr. Todd Zakrajsek

Special Keynote:
Dr. Todd Zakrajsek on April 6

Dr. Todd Zakrajsek is an associate professor in the Department of Family Medicine at UNC - Chapel Hill and the director of five Lily Conferences on College and University Teaching. An internationally-renowned speaker and expert on creating motivating and engaging classroom communities, Dr. Zakrajsek is the author of several acclaimed books, including Advancing Online Teaching, Dynamic Lecturing and The New Science of Learning.

photo of Dr. Todd Zakrajsek

Agenda Overview

Join us for high-impact workshops designed to help you improve student connection, engagement, and success in your course.

Top Hat Platform Training

Wednesday, April 5
Morrill Hall, Iowa State University
603 Morrill Rd, Ames, IA 50011
Directions to the Morrill Hall

  • 10:00 - 10:45 AM

    Top Hat Basics: Getting Started

    Morill Hall, Room 2030

    Shashank Santosh, Top Hat

    This workshop provides an introduction to Top Hat and will help you combine evidence-based teaching practices with the power of the Top Hat platform to design and deliver flexible, meaningful and student-centered learning in your courses. Explore a variety of time-saving assessment options to enable discussion, empower student agency and learn how to make the most out of teaching insights to improve course delivery and student outcomes.

  • 11:00 - 11:45 AM

    Dynamic Courseware: Using Top Hat in Different Modalities

    Morill Hall, Room 2030

    Peter Kane, Top Hat

    Today’s students are digital by default—they crave course content that is interactive, dynamic, and reflective of the diverse world around them. In this session, we’ll look at how Top Hat’s dynamic assignment builder makes it easy for you to personalize your course with real-time events, historical milestones, articles, and more to make your students’ learning more relevant, inclusive, and current. Attend this session to learn about optimizing your OER materials, Top Hat’s Content Catalog and opportunities to publish your own content!

  • 12:00 – 1:00 PM


  • 1:15 – 2:00 PM

    Top Hat Assessments: Quizzes & Tests

    Morill Hall, Room 2030

    Sumi Voora, Top Hat

    From formative quizzes to high-stakes exams, Top Hat makes it simple to create, manage, and deliver assessments. This session will provide an overview of effective formative and summative assessment strategies using Top Hat’s non-monitored and monitored testing options.

  • 2:15 - 3:00 PM

    5 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with
    Top Hat’s Presentation Tool

    Morill Hall, Room 2030

    Sumi Voora, Top Hat

    Extend learning beyond your slides and learn about different ways to leverage Top Hat’s presentation tool to drive student engagement in and outside of your traditional class time. Learn how to make the most out of insights to help you save time and inspire you with the confidence that you are focusing your efforts where students need them the most.

Improving Student Connection, Engagement, and Success

Thursday, April 6
Memorial Union, Iowa State University
2229 Lincoln Way, Ames, Iowa
Directions to the Memorial Union

  • 9:30 - 10:00 AM

    Welcome & Complementary Light Breakfast

    Campanile Room, 2nd Floor, Memorial Union

    Check-in and catered light breakfast, plus a welcome note for Iowa State CELT’s 30th Anniversary Celebration Kick-off.

  • 10:00 - 11:30 AM

    Dynamic Lecturing: Strategies for More Engaged Learning

    Campanile Room, 2nd Floor, Memorial Union

    Dr. Todd Zakrajsek

    Research across higher education consistently demonstrates that lectures paired with active learning make the difference when it comes to improving student success. So let’s focus on how we can revitalize our instruction by pairing mini-lectures with active learning strategies to better engage students. 

    In this interactive workshop, you will learn the elements of an effective mini-lecture, how to know when to stop lecturing, and the key components of engaged learning strategies. Together, we’ll explore proven techniques that will have an immediate impact on sustaining student attention and increasing mastery of your course content.

  • 11:30 – 1:00 PM


  • 1:00 – 2:00 PM

    Faculty Panel: “Enhancing Engagement: From the Classroom to Content”

    Gallery Room, 3rd Floor, Memorial Union


    • Tanya Austin, Assistant Director of Career Services, Ivy College of Business
    • Kira Werstein, Associate Teaching Professor, Kinesiology, College of Human Sciences
    • Amy Popillion, Teaching Professor at the Department of Human Development and Family Studies.


    • Shashank Santosh, Top Hat