Top Hat Launches Slate, a Free Digital Communication Tool Purpose-Built for Higher Education
Top Hat, the leading active learning platform for higher education, today unveiled Slate, the free communication tool purpose-built for higher education, providing students and educators with digital spaces to easily communicate, collaborate, and build connections that will improve their academic and social lives. Slate is integrated with the Top Hat platform and available to all users, effectively empowering educators with a full set of tools to incorporate active learning, improve student engagement, and build community in their courses in any teaching scenario - whether classes are taught in-person, online, or a hybrid combination of both.
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Built on principles of community, collaboration, and connectedness, Slate helps educators create an engaging virtual classroom experience, fostering student success and belonging during a time when human connection is needed more than ever. (Graphic: Business Wire)
As higher ed institutions were forced to move courses online as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, educators have been challenged to provide a meaningful and impactful educational experience to students. According to a recent survey of more than 3,000 current higher education students, almost eight out of 10 (78 percent) respondents said their online courses lacked the engagement of in-person classes1. In a separate survey of more than 800 higher ed instructors, focused on understanding how they are preparing for the Fall academic term, almost nine out of 10 (87 percent) educators responded that fostering a sense of community amongst students in their class is moderately to highly important.2 When it comes to their biggest concerns about teaching in the Fall academic term, some of the top issues identified by educators include:
"As most educators and institutions plan for a primarily online or hybrid teaching format in the Fall, they're facing an uphill battle to deliver educational ROI to students in a virtual setting," said Mike Silagadze, founder and CEO, Top Hat. "We know students are expecting a more engaging, interactive, and human experience than they had during the last academic term. With today's launch of Slate, we're releasing a powerful tool to all Top Hat users that replaces simple bandage solutions that were used to stay in contact with students in the last academic term. During a time when students are physically dispersed all over the country and even the world, Slate will help educators and institutions maintain that sense of community and belonging even after students can safely return to campus."
Slate Brings Faculty, Students, Conversations, and Content into One Centralized Hub
Slate is built on three core premises to support student success:
What Professors Say About Slate
"We are just as isolated in the online environment as students are. Slate makes it easy to do a pulse-check with my students to see how they're doing. I can also easily monitor the chitchat amongst students and jump in to the conversation to offer support with resources or a reminder about my office hours. What I really love about Slate is the conversation between students that mimics those that they would have had in person at the beginning of class."
"Slate allows me to be more responsive to my students. I am able to have richer conversations in real-time rather than waiting for emails back and forth. The ability for students to share together in a common space is profound."
Slate Strengthens Top Hat's Active Learning Platform Used by Educators to Deliver Engaging and Effective Learning Experiences in the Fall and Beyond
Top Hat is the only all-in-one courseware platform that enables active learning - a proven student-centred teaching pedagogy that promotes deep understanding, critical thinking, and subject mastery - by encouraging students to engage with the content before, during, and after class, in both in-person and online courses. With the addition of Slate, Top Hat makes it easy for educators and students to engage with one another in class - and continue the discussion and the learning when class ends.
As the complete solution for any teaching scenario, Top Hat offers tools for in-person as well as synchronous and asynchronous online learning, while creating active engagement and connections with students inside and outside virtual class meetings. It includes remote lecturing functionality for live-streaming lectures and presenting slides, real-time in-class engagement tools for hosting discussions and polling and quizzing students, interactive assignments and readings, assignment creation and auto-grading, content customizability, detailed actionable insights to identify struggling students and difficult topics, and formative and summative testing. Additionally, in time for the Fall academic term, Top Hat will be making a subset of these features available for free for professors to host synchronous online classes that engage and motivate students.
Top Hat's Support Team Provides Dedicated Assistance to Educators
Top Hat offers an array of dedicated resources to help customers plan for and deliver their courses. Instructional design support, onboarding services, and technical assistance are available to ensure a successful teaching and learning experience in the Fall and beyond.
What Professors Say About Top Hat
"I am going all in with Top Hat. It is clear to me that the ability to pivot quickly is essential for the next school term and the foreseeable future. On top of that, we already know that Gen Z and beyond want us to keep things active in the classroom. Top Hat makes it easy and allows faculty like me to respond quickly to personal life issues and societal-level impacts. I will be adopting Top Hat for all my classes from this point forward. It is a difference maker."
"Top Hat enables me to streamline my students' online experience by storing all recorded lectures, discussions and homework assignments on the platform. With all class materials in one place, I'm able to connect the dots between homework completion and content comprehension, using data-driven insights to identify the content areas with which students are struggling. I can then tailor my online class time to follow up on these areas and answer student questions. I now feel like I'm able to meet my students where they are and shape the direction of the class in response to their specific needs. It's the closest I come to feeling like I'm actually with them."
To learn more about Slate:
To learn more about Top Hat:
About Top Hat
Top Hat is the only all-in-one courseware platform that enables active learning - a proven student-centred teaching pedagogy that promotes deep understanding, critical thinking, and subject mastery - with interactive content, tools, and activities. Millions of students at 750 leading North American colleges and universities use Top Hat to teach and engage with students before, during, and after class, in both in-person and online education.