Portrait image of Megan Gogerty

Megan Gogerty, associate professor of instruction and director of Undergraduate Studies in the UI Department of Theatre Arts, uses Top Hat every day in her course Comedy and Society. Top Hat is a digital platform that allows students to enter responses to instructors’ prompts via their phones and laptops. The tool can help make classes more interactive, facilitate discussions, guide lectures, and encourage peer instruction.

Gogerty was an early adopter of student response systems and has used Top Hat since it was implemented at the University of Iowa. She primarily employs it for multiple choice, true/false, and yes/no questions to check students’ learning and gather immediate feedback about their familiarity with a person or concept.

“I appreciate having a student response system,” Gogerty explains. “I would hate to have a 100-person lecture where I couldn’t get students’ feedback.”

Her general education undergraduate course examines gender, race, and socioeconomic issues through the lens of American stand-up comedians in the 19th and 20th centuries and traces the history of popular comedy genres.

“It’s a lecture-based course, and sometimes the same students participate in discussions,” Gogerty says. “By using Top Hat, I can engage more students in the conversation.”

Although she uses the technology every day, one activity that grabs her students’ attention the most occurs at the end of semester. Students participate in a Jeopardy-style review game to prepare for their final assessment. The class divides into teams, but everyone responds to questions via Top Hat for an entertaining way to study.

Order Top Hat for Your Course

To learn more about Top Hat and to decide if this technology is right for your own teaching, you are welcome to join the Top Hat User Group, which meets monthly, or request a consultation from the Office of Teaching, Learning, and Technology.

Instructors can order Top Hat through the ICON Direct Ordering Tool for a reduced cost to students. The cost for a student license is only $15 per semester. Instructors can email ICON-Direct@uiowa.edu or log in to the ICON Direct Ordering Tool to place their own Top Hat content request.

For summer 2023 and fall 2023 semesters, the order deadlines are April 17 and July 24, respectively.