Distance Learning
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Using Intelligent Agents

The Intelligent Agent tool in D2L can be used in a variety of ways to both recognize student achievement and warn of potential problems. In the example below, we are going to setup an agent to warn us when students have not logged in to the course for a period of 14 days.

Keep in mind . . .

The Intelligent Agents tool will send you a separate email for each student who meets the criteria for the agent. There is not a way to receive a list of all students in one email. For that reason, you may want to setup a rule in your inbox to manage email send from d2lhelp@pstcc.edu.


Creating an Agent

  1. Click on the Edit Course link in the navigation bar.
  2. Click on the Intelligent Agents link.
  3. Click on the link to create a New Agent.
  4. Give your agent a name, description, and make sure to check the option to enable the Agent.
  5. Enter the agent criteria. You can choose to run the agent for when a student has or has not logged in in the past X days. For this example, let's set the criteria to alert us when a student has not logged in during the past 14 days.
  6. The Agent Repetition section allows you to choose whether you want to be notified every time a student meets the agent criteria or only the first time.
  7. If desired, set up a calendar to regularly schedule this agent. If you choose to set a schedule, please be aware that you may (depending on your choice in the above step) receive a separate email notification for each student that meets the agent's criteria every time the agent runs. If you do not set a schedule, you will need to remember to access the Intelligent Agents tool and manually run the agent. For this example, let's choose to manually run the agent.
  8. In the To: field, type the address of an external email address. Your regular Pellissippi State email account will work great. At this time, sending notifications to an elearn address does not work correctly.
  9. Type a subject for your email. In addition to regular text, you can also use system variables that let you dynamically include information such as the student's name, the name of the course, etc. For this example, copy the text below and paste it into the Subject line:
    Attendance Report - Getting Oriented to D2L (REQUIRED ORIENTATION COURSE) - {InitiatingUserFirstName} {InitiatingUserLastName}
    When sent, Getting Oriented to D2L (REQUIRED ORIENTATION COURSE) will be replaced by the name of your course and {InitiatingUserFirstName}/{InitiatingUserLastName} will be replaced by the first and last name of the students that have not logged in.
  10. Type the body of your email. Since we included both the course name and student name in the subject, let's just include a generic message in the body.
  11. Click Save.

Running an Intelligent Agent

Once created, an agent will automatically run if it is set to a schedule. However, we did not specify a schedule in the steps above, so we will need to manually run this agent.

  1. Access the Intelligent Agents tool.
  2. Click on this icon to run the agent.
  3. You're done!

For additional information on the Basic D2L interface, please view D2L's documentation (PDF)