Top Hat and OpenStax College Partner to Deliver an Unprecedented Interactive Lecture Experience

Transforming the classroom through affordable, peer-reviewed textbooks from OpenStax College and Top Hat's interactive teaching platform

Jul 14, 2015, 09:00 ET from Top Hat

TORONTO, July 14, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Top Hat, the leading digital learning platform in higher education, today announced it is teaming up with OpenStax College, Rice University's non-profit educational materials initiative. Through the partnership, college professors are able to engage students through OpenStax College's digital textbooks and be involved every step of the way before, during and after lectures through Top Hat's interactive teaching platform. Professors have already adopted OpenStax College with Top Hat in a number of universities and colleges, including University of Kentucky, College of William and Mary, Collin College, Eastfield College, Tidewater Community College and Northern Illinois University.

"It's becoming more evident that online learning alone cannot replace face-to-face lectures. Student outcomes continue to be superior when there is a component of live interaction as opposed to purely web-based learning," said Mike Silagadze, CEO of Top Hat. "With digital textbooks from OpenStax College, Top Hat brings a new level of ease and depth to the university lecture. In-class student assessment can now encompass visual and auditory stimuli, and new ways of manipulating and interacting with classroom material through sorting, matching, click-on-target and word or number answer questions."

Top Hat allows professors to deliver their lecture from anywhere in the room on any tablet device. Through the partnership, professors can instantly gauge students' understanding of the OpenStax College content. They can view and edit every chapter through Top Hat's Pages module, as well as pose questions in-class, assign homework and grade responses. Students can access this unique content from OpenStax College on the mobile devices they already own, such as smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Professors are already taking advantage of Top Hat's partnership with OpenStax College. Here's why:

  • Centralized teaching experience. Top Hat's interactive teaching platform stores and delivers content and assessments to students during, before, or after class. Slides and other visuals are also uploaded, presented and provided for review on the same platform.
  • Affordable for students: While digital learning solutions from other publishers are extremely costly, adopting a free OpenStax College textbook with Top Hat is highly affordable at only $29 per semester, $41 for a full year, or $77 for a student lifetime subscription. 
  • Standard organization: The table of contents, scope and sequence of the textbooks align with standard course curricula, making them easy to adapt into existing courses.
  • Modular and customizable: Instructors can organize their courses however they would like. Through Top Hat, professors can also edit or rewrite their textbooks or introduce customized content of their own to support their pedagogy. Content can easily be customized for one- or two-semester courses.
  • Peer reviewed: OpenStax College textbooks are peer-reviewed, written by educators and are regularly updated to include up to date information.
  • Digital first, but also printable: Content is available on any device – laptop, tablet, or smartphone – integrating the best of modern technology into the learning experience. However, should it be required, students can also print the PDF version of the textbook or buy a hard copy via Amazon or their campus bookstore.

"OpenStax College is committed to improving student access to quality learning materials," said David Harris, Editor in Chief at OpenStax College. "Our digital textbooks are peer-reviewed and backed by top-of-the-line supporting materials. While our books meet standard scope and sequence requirements, they are also customizable if the professors' needs are different. We look forward to seeing how professors and students work with our materials through Top Hat."

OpenStax College textbooks available with Top Hat include Anatomy and Physiology, Biology, College Physics, Concepts of Biology (Non-Majors Biology), Introduction to Sociology 2e, Introductory Statistics, Principles of Economics, Principles of Macroeconomics and Principles of Microeconomics. Top Hat will also soon offer Algebra and Trigonometry, Chemistry, Precalculus, U.S. History and Psychology.

To learn more about the partnership between Top Hat and OpenStax College, visit

About Top Hat
Top Hat is the leading teaching platform that professors use to create an active learning environment. Using Top Hat, professors can transform students' mobile devices into tools of engagement, leading to increased attendance, higher grades, and a more effective lecture experience. In the classroom, the platform creates a seamless lecture experience where professors can automatically take attendance, present interactive slides, launch six different types of questions, facilitate open discussions, and get real-time feedback on how well students are grasping concepts. Outside of the classroom, Top Hat's platform further engages students through homework assignment, automatic grading, and digital content.  Top Hat was founded in 2009 by two students who were inspired by the underutilization of their own devices in the classroom. Today, Top Hat is used and adored by over 500 universities, and half a million students worldwide. For more information, please visit Top Hat's website.

About OpenStax College
OpenStax College is committed to improving student access to quality learning materials. An initiative of Rice University and supported by philanthropic foundations, OpenStax College provides entirely free textbooks, developed and peer-reviewed by educators to ensure they are readable, accurate and meet the scope and sequence requirements of the most prevalent introductory college courses. For information, please visit