Intelligent Agents: What are they and what are they used for?

Intelligent Agents

The Intelligent Agents tool monitors a course within eLearn to find student activity that matches criteria that you set. When you preschedule an "agent," based on students' login activity, course activity, or release conditions, the agent will automatically act on your behalf. Instructors often use this feature to automatically send student emails, but there are other uses, too.

Example uses for agents include:

  • Emailing students with grades below a certain level
  • Emailing students a "Great job!" message when they score above a certain grade on a tough assignment
  • Checking for students that have not logged in within a specific number of days
  • Checking for students that view a specific content topic

Considerations for setting up agents

When you create a new agent, you need to determine:

  • The criteria the agent looks for: login activity, course activity, or release conditions.
  • The written content in the email that the agent automatically sends when its criteria are met.
  • How often the agent takes action when a student satisfies the criteria.
  • How often the agent is scheduled to run and find students that meet its criteria.

Best practices for creating and using agents

Consider best practices when setting up agents for your course in order to get the most benefit from using the tool. Agents are most useful when you have carefully considered how you are organizing and presenting them in a course.

Some best practices include:

  • Use a standard naming convention to keep the order and purpose of each agent clear.
  • Use the agent's Description area to collect reminder notes of what you need to adjust in the agent for each offering.
  • Determine if your agent would benefit from repetition.
  • Use replace strings (see below) to personalize emails and minimize editing.
  • Avoid overusing agents, especially if you can get the information to students another way.

Replace Strings for Agents

Replace strings allow you to customize an email, news item, or other personalized student message. For example, by if  you use the string {FirstName} in your email greeting, each student will see his or her first name in the email message. For a complete listing of current replace strings that can be used in agents, visit this Brightspace support page. Note that when you see "org unit" within the list, this is referring to your course; each unique course section is an "org unit" in D2L vocabulary.


Article ID: 73192
Thu 3/7/19 8:25 AM
Mon 4/1/19 9:56 AM