The addition significantly expands Top Hat’s reach and leadership as the modern course engagement platform for higher education.

TORONTO — December 5, 2022 — Top Hat, the market leader in student engagement solutions for higher education, has entered into an agreement to acquire Aktiv Learning (101 Edu, Inc.), a company revolutionizing education and learning technology in STEM disciplines. Given the growing demand for STEM careers, ensuring high quality learning is critical to both student and university success. This acquisition accelerates Top Hat’s mission to deliver personalized, engaging, and equitable learning for every student. 

“As a leader in student engagement, we have significant reach across a wide range of students and subject areas,” said Joe Rohrlich, CEO of Top Hat. “This acquisition reflects our commitment to be the partner of record for higher education institutions — from broad engagement to discipline-specific solutions that enable active, personalized learning, especially in STEM courses that are so crucial to the overall student experience.”

Since launching in 2016, Aktiv Learning’s platform for STEM has been embraced by educators at more than 700 institutions to drive increased engagement and outcomes in critical introductory courses. Its inaugural product, Aktiv Chemistry, now helps more than 120,000 students learn each year, and the company has recently expanded with new offerings in mathematics. 

Aktiv Learning’s rapid growth is a testament to the power of its technology and the depth of its educational toolset, which allows students to experience, interact with, and visualize difficult STEM concepts in a mobile-first approach. Pioneering technology provides students with feedback that adapts to their individual misconceptions as they problem solve, providing the guidance and motivation to drive engagement and academic success. According to a recent survey representing 450 schools, 91% of students said Aktiv Learning improved their grades while 86% said it made them more engaged or interested in chemistry. 

“Uneven preparedness and negative experiences in introductory science and mathematics courses keep too many students from succeeding, particularly those from historically underrepresented communities,” said Dr. Justin Weinberg, co-founder and CEO of Aktiv Learning. “We are excited to join with Top Hat to accelerate our vision to transform STEM education at scale. With Top Hat, we will continue delivering the innovations faculty need to make STEM more engaging, more supportive, and to foster the sense of community that is so important to the success of today’s students.” 

Aktiv Learning recently launched new offerings for Developmental Math and other critical math courses to address the growing math education crisis impacting millions of students. In the longer-term, combining Aktiv’s innovative learning solutions with Top Hat’s strengths in dynamic courseware will empower educators to deliver truly connected learning experiences, while also creating additional opportunities to accelerate growth. As part of the acquisition, Aktiv founders Dr. Justin Weinberg and Igor Belyayev will join Top Hat in leadership positions to drive STEM strategy and product innovation. 

“Active learning and frequent low-stakes assessment have been shown time and again to improve learning outcomes, yet applying these practices in STEM disciplines is highly nuanced,” said Dr. Brad Cohen, Chief Academic Officer at Top Hat. “With Aktiv, we are providing the specialized tools educators need to engage students in personalized and customized environments that enable them to learn the best way possible — by doing.”  

About Aktiv Learning

Aktiv Learning (101 Edu, Inc.) was born from years of STEM teaching experience by CEO Justin Weinberg, a Ph.D. chemical engineer from Carnegie Mellon University. Together with co-founder and CTO Igor Belyayev’s innovative technological approach, the team set about launching a market-leading classroom engagement and homework system specifically designed to bring active learning to STEM education. This includes interactive problem solving activities, assessments, and a library of learning resources that empower educators to improve student engagement, confidence, and learning outcomes. With the success of Aktiv Chemistry and recent launch of Aktiv Mathematics, the platform continues to realize extraordinary growth and is adopted by faculty at more than 700 colleges and universities across North America.   

Good Harbor Partners (GHP) served as the sole advisor for Aktiv Learning. Managing Partner, Mark Miller, has been a long-time strategic advisor and supporter of the company. 

About Top Hat

As the leader in student engagement solutions for higher education, Top Hat enables educators to employ proven student-centered teaching practices through interactive content, tools, and activities in in-person, online and hybrid classroom environments. To accelerate student impact and return on investment, the company provides a range of change management services, including faculty training and instructional design support, integration and data management services, and digital content customization. Thousands of faculty at 750 leading North American colleges and universities use Top Hat to create meaningful, engaging and accessible learning experiences for students before, during, and after class.


Top Hat
Eric Gardiner