TORONTO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Faculty of Arts at the University of British Columbia (UBC) and Top Hat, provider of the leading cloud-based teaching platform for higher education, today announced they have partnered to expand student access to open educational resources (OER) and improve student engagement. Through this partnership, 1,100 instructors and 14,000 students in the Faculty of Arts now have access to low-cost or free, high-quality and interactive course materials and best-in-class classroom engagement tools from Top Hat. With this implementation, UBC Faculty of Arts students are expected to save more than $100,000 per year.
The partnership connects the UBC Faculty of Arts to Top Hat’s suite of products including Top Hat Classroom, Top Hat Assignment, Top Hat Textbook, and Top Hat Test. Top Hat Classroom leverages students’ existing mobile devices to increase in-class engagement and delivers real-time feedback to educators. Top Hat Assignment enables educators to create, personalize, and track homework for students. Top Hat Textbook helps instructors improve learning with interactive and affordable educational content. Instructors choose from more than 20,000 course materials created with Top Hat Textbook in the Top Hat Marketplace, a game-changing resource for customizable educational content, allowing professors to publish, share, and collaborate with peers. With Top Hat Test, educators can securely administer exams and quizzes delivered directly to students’ devices.
“One-way lecturing is a thing of the past, and we need to provide a tool that lets professors ask questions and get all students to think, discuss, answer questions, and contribute, even in classes of 200 students,” said Dr. Fred Cutler, Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of Arts Instructional Support and Informational Technology. “This partnership gives students the best classroom engagement tool to enhance their learning and it alleviates the financial burden of paying for different platforms in different courses. The bonus is that professors and students can save even more money and get quality learning materials through the Top Hat Textbook platform.”
According to the 2017 Academic Experience Survey1 conducted by the Alma Mater Society (AMS) of UBC, 43 per cent of students worry about how to pay for textbooks and class materials. The average amount of money spent on textbooks per undergraduate student in 2017 was $814, and 93 per cent of undergrads have bought a textbook or course resource and never or rarely used it throughout the term. Further highlighting the challenge of cost barriers to education, almost one in five (19 per cent) undergraduate and graduate students stated they might need to abandon their studies at UBC due to financial reasons.
“One of the biggest challenges for educators is providing students with access to affordable course materials and textbooks that are adaptable, engaging, and up-to-date,” said Mike Silagadze, co-founder and CEO, Top Hat. “By investing in Top Hat’s product suite and providing access to high-quality and low-cost digital textbooks, the Faculty of Arts is effectively unlocking knowledge and widening participation in higher education. As instructors implement, customize, and author course materials through Top Hat Textbook, UBC’s Faculty of Arts is creating a unique and inclusive environment for students to succeed.”
For more information or to schedule a demo with Top Hat, please visit tophat.com.
About University of British Columbia
The University of British Columbia is a global centre for research and teaching, consistently ranked among the 40 best universities in the world. To learn more, visit www.ubc.ca.
About Top Hat
Top Hat’s interactive, cloud-based teaching platform enables professors to engage students inside and outside the classroom with compelling content, tools and activities. Millions of students at 750 leading North American colleges and universities use the Top Hat teaching platform. To learn more, visit www.tophat.com.
1 Alma Mater Society (AMS) of University of British Columbia, “2017 Academic Experience Survey,” http://www.ams.ubc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/044-18-Academic-Experience-Survey-Presentation.pdf (June 2017).