Top Hat Unveils Latest Ace Innovation with AI-Powered Lecture Enhancer


Toronto – Top Hat, the leader in student engagement solutions for higher education, has announced new enhancements to Ace, a groundbreaking AI-powered assistant designed to create better teaching and learning experiences for educators and students. Ace’s latest innovation—an AI-powered lecture enhancer—dramatically increases the speed and ease with which educators can incorporate frequent, low stakes assessments to promote active learning in their in-class presentations.

“Our north star at Top Hat is to empower educators to easily adopt evidence-based teaching practices,” says Hong Bui, Chief Product Officer at Top Hat. “Ace’s latest capabilities are all about giving educators the support they need to create interactive and engaging experiences backed by learning science.”

Decades of research underscore the benefits of using frequent assessments in lecture-based courses in improving academic outcomes, especially for the most vulnerable students (Theobold et al 2020). However, most educators will admit that a single, high-quality assessment question can take at least 20 minutes to create, posing a significant barrier to making class time more active. Ace represents a major leap forward by enabling educators to instantly generate knowledge checks and assessment questions they can use to engage students, assess comprehension, and build confidence and community in the classroom—all based on their existing slide content.

Ace has undergone extensive testing with educators and students, and consistently delivers in terms of speed and accuracy. Fewer than five percent of the questions suggested by Ace are edited by users. This is due to the fact that Ace uses “in-context learning” to analyze slide content as well as imagery to ensure accurate, high-quality recommendations. For educators who want to make adjustments, they can do so before adding questions to their presentations, reducing the time required for class preparation, while allowing instructors to retain complete control over their content. With roughly 11 million slides loaded into Top Hat each year, Ace offers new opportunities to use these materials to invite students to become active participants in the learning process.

“Educators know the benefits of active learning, but it’s extremely challenging to put into practice, especially in large introductory courses,” says Maggie Leen, CEO at Top Hat. “With Ace, we’re making it easy to increase the impact of instruction and, frankly, make learning more fun and engaging, because when we do that, we know more students are going to succeed.”

The AI-powered lecture enhancer is the latest addition to Ace’s growing capabilities. Since launching a few months ago, educators have used Ace to generate assessment questions, which include hints and explanations, incorporating them into quizzes, interactive readings, and homework assignments. Ace also provides students with on-demand, personalized study support. To date, thousands of students have used Ace to clarify challenging concepts, get extra practice applying learning, and for targeted guidance on exam prep, all based directly on their course content.

“We’ve made pretty rapid progress leveraging advances in AI, but the reality is we’re only just getting started,” says Bui. “Adaptive learning, improving study efficiency, and providing deeper insights to better understand the impact of instruction on academic outcomes are just a few of the areas we are exploring to support students, educators, and our institutional partners.”

About Top Hat

As the leader in student engagement solutions for higher education, Top Hat enables educators to employ evidence-based teaching practices through interactive content, tools, and activities in in-person, online and hybrid classroom environments. 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. To learn more, please visit tophat.com.

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