Robert J. Trulaske Sr., College of Business, University of Missouri

Classroom Response

A classroom response system is a combination of subject-agnostic hardware and software leveraged by the instructor to poll students across a range of question types. Students submit their answers through a computer, mobile device, or “clicker” and responses are aggregated and shown on the shared classroom display.


Tophat is a modern software-based classroom response system that leverages BYOD to engage students and gamify the learning experience. To use Tophat, no classroom infrastructure beyond a computer and student devices is necessary. The user interface is intuitive and question prompts can be integrated with PowerPoint. Question types include multiple choice, word answer, numeric, matching, click on target (picture), and sorting. Used correctly, Tophat is a powerful engagement tool that helps instructors assess student understanding of material. 

Reef and i>clicker

Reef is a combination software and hardware classroom response system. The software portion, Reef, is similar to Tophat in functionality, though slightly simplified. The hardware portion, i>clicker, uses student handheld devices called “clickers” to collect responses. This hybrid approach is useful for instructors that are hesitant to allow student computing devices during class.