Instructor: Intelligent Agents

1. Access: Intelligent Agents

Collect data you can't get elsewhere or send automated emails to students.

Some ideas: send an automated welcome message, congratulate students after they complete the first week's work, or contact individuals who have not accessed your course content in several days, all while having D2L figure out who needs to receive the email.

Note: When you copy your content into a new course page, Intelligent Agents do copy but settings do not. Each semester you'll have to adjust the settings and enable your Agents. This is to prevent Agents from running when they shouldn't.

To access the tool, click Course Admin in the course navbar, and select Intelligent Agents from the list of tools.

intelligent agents path

 

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2. Adjust: Your Settings (Important!)

Create a "reply-to" email address so that students can reply to any email sent by an Intelligent Agent.

Note: Any changes you make to the settings will affect all of your Intelligent Agents.

  1. Click Course Admin in your course navbar.
  2. Select Intelligent Agents.
  3. Click the Settings icon.settings icon

     

  4. Select Set custom values for this course.radio dial

     

  5. Enter a name into the Name that emails come from field. We recommend using a proper name and not an email address.name field

     

  6. Enter an email address in the Reply-To address for responses field.reply to field

     

  7. Click the Save button.save button

     

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3. Create: A New Agent

There are three parts to creating an Intelligent Agent.


Create the Agent

  1. Click Course Admin in your course navbar.
  2. Select Intelligent Agents.
  3. Click the New button.new button

     

  4. Give your agent a Name.name field

    Note: Only the instructional team will see the name. Use a substantive title that makes it easy to find in a list of agents.

  5. Optional: Click where it says Edit Description to open the Description field.description field

    Tip: Use the description field to remind yourself what needs to be changed from term to term, for example settings that need to be changed when copied into a new course site, due dates, office hours, and etc.

  6. Enable your agent to make it active as soon as you save. It will go "live" once your site is activated.check box 

    Note: You have to enable Intelligent Agents every time you copy them into a new course site. This is so they do not start running right away.


Determine Who Should be Contacted

Note: You can mix and match the various criteria to customize the Intelligent Agent to your needs.

  1. Required: To determine who should be monitored with this Intelligent agent, select one.
    • All users visible in the Classlist: to include everyone.

      radio dial

       

    • Users with specific roles: to open a list of roles (students, instructors, etc.) from which to choose.

      radio dial and menu

      Note: Select the Student roles for a welcome message.

  2. Optional: To monitor peoples' logins to D2L, select Take action when the following login criteria are satisfied. Then select the Login Activity you want to monitor. Enter a number in the "days" field.

    checkbox

     

  3. Optional: To monitor when people access your course, select Take action when the following course activity criteria are satisfied. Then, select the type of access you want to monitor. Finally, enter a number in the "days" field.

    checkbox

     

  4. Optional: Choose Create and Attach to create a new release condition, or Attach Existing to use an existing release condition you want the agent to monitor. See the Release Conditions help page for more. If you create a release condition, click the dropdown arrow to choose one of the following:

    release conditions settings
    • All of the conditions must be met if all conditions are necessary to trigger the Intelligent Agent.
    • Any of the conditions can be met if a single condition is sufficient to trigger the Intelligent Agent.
  5. (Required) Select an Action Repetition:radio dials
    • Select Take action only the first time the agent's criteria is satisfied for a user if you would like the agent to identify people only once, and to ignore those people in subsequent runs.

      Note: Select Take action only the first time... for a welcome message.

    • Select Take action every time the agent is evaluated and the agent's criteria are satisfied for a user if you would like the agent to identify everyone who meets the criteria regardless of whether or not they have been identified by this agent previously.

Prepare the Email

This is optional. If you do not want an email to go out (you just want to collect data), skip to the next subsection.

  1. Select Send an email when the criteria are satisfied.

     

    checkbox
  2. In the To field, enter one of the following:

    to field
    • Your email: if you want the email to come to you (as a way of gathering data).
    • {InitiatingUser}: if you want the email to insert the names of participants who meet the intelligent agent criteria.
    • Both 1 & 2 above.

      Note: If you want students to be able to reply to you, set a custom Reply-To address for responses. For instructions, review section 2 above.

  3. In the Email Subject field: include a subject line that you want participants to see.subject field

     

  4.  In the Message field: type or paste the message that you want to send.message field

    Note: Use Replace Strings to customize the message with the recipient's name, your course's start date (e.g. the OrgUnitStartDate), and etc. D2L will replace the "string" of text with whatever you tell it to. For a list of options, click on "What replacement strings can I use in the subject and message".


Create a Run Schedule

Note: If you skip this step, you can manually run your agent.

  1. Select Use Schedule.checkbox

    Note: Automatic Agents run, at most, once a day at 8 pm. If you want it to run at a different time, manually release the Agent when the timing is right.

  2. Click on the Update Schedule button.use schedule button
  3. Enter your preferences.update agent schedule window

    Note: Put an end date on your agent to make sure it stops running after your course is closed.

  4. Click Update.
  5. Click Save to save your changes and remain in the agent, or Save and Close to return to the Agent List.save buttons

     

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4. Navigate: Your Agent List

Explore some features of your Agent List.

The Agent List is empty until you create an Agent. Once you create your Agent(s), here are some things to note:

agents list preview
  1. Agent column: Lists the names and descriptions of your Intelligent Agents. Click on the column header to sort by alphabetical order.
  2. Results of Last Run column: Indicates how many users met the critera the last time the Agent ran. Click on the # users identified link to open the list of names and the action taken.
  3. Last Run Date column: Lists the date and time each Agent last ran. Click on the column header to sort by run date.
  4. Next Run Date column: Lists the day and date the Intelligent Agent is scheduled to run next. Click on the column header to sort by next run date.
  5. View menu: Click on the view box to filter your agents so you see only those agents that are Enabled or Disabled, then click Apply. This is useful, for example, if you want to mass enable your agents at the start of a new semester.
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5. Do: A Practice Run

A Practice Run allows you to test your Intelligent Agent.

For example, if you want a list all of students who have not submitted an assignment, create an Intelligent Agent and do a practice run.

  1. Click Course Admin in your course navbar.
  2. Select Intelligent Agents.
  3. Click on the down arrow next to the Agent of interest.down facing triangle

     

  4. Select Practice Run.menu
  5. In the confirmation window, click Run.confirmation window

     

  6. Note the email account where results will be sent. If you wish to change this account, do so in the Edit Agent field (see section 2 above). If the information is correct, click Done.done button
  7. View the results of your practice run through the View History option (see section 10 below).
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6: Do: A Manual Run

Send out an email or collect data at any time, with a manual run.

You can do a manual run even when your agent is disabled or your course site is inactive.

  1. Click Course Admin in your course navbar.
  2. Select Intelligent Agents.
  3. Click on the down arrow next to the Agent of interest.down facing triangle
  4. Select Run Now.menu

     

  5. In the confirmation window, select Run.run button

     

  6. Note the email account where results will be sent. If you wish to change this account, do so in the Edit Agent field (see section 2 above). If the information is correct, click Done.done button

     

  7. While your agent is manually running, you will see a "Manual Run" Icon (cog and arrow) next to your Agent.manual run icon

     

  8. View the results of your practice run through the View History option (see section 10 below).
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7. Enable: (or Disable) Your Agents

Agents have to be enabled to run automatically. When agents are disabled, they will be marked with the disabled icon. When agents are enabled, they will have no icon.

  1. Click Course Admin in your course navbar.
  2. Select Intelligent Agents.
  3. Click the checkbox next to the Intelligent Agent(s) you wish to enable/disable.checkbox

     

  4. Select either the Enable or Disable icon.enable and disable buttons

     

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8. Modify: Your Agent

Access the edit tool to make changes to your Agent.

  1. Click Course Admin in your course navbar.
  2. Select Intelligent Agents.
  3. Click the down arrow next to the Intelligent Agent of interest.down facing triangle
  4. Select Edit.menu

     

  5. In the window that pops up, make your desired changes.
  6. Click Save to save your changes and remain in the agent, or Save and Close to return to the Agent List.save buttons
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9. Delete: An Agent

Delete one or more Agents at once.

  1. Click Course Admin in your course navbar.
  2. Select Intelligent Agents.
  3. Click the checkbox next to the Intelligent Agent(s) you wish to delete.checkbox
  4. Select the Delete icon.delete icon

     

  5. In the confirmation window, click Delete.delete button
    Note: You can restore a deleted Agent by clicking the More Actions button and choosing restore from the menu.menu

     

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10. View: History

History refers to the the users identified and the action taken (e.g. email sent) during a given run of an Intelligent Agent.

  1. Click Course Admin in your course navbar.
  2. Select Intelligent Agents.
  3. Click the down arrow next to the Intelligent Agent of interest.down facing triangle

     

  4. Select View History.menu

     

  5. To see who met the criteria for an Intelligent Agent run, click on the # users identified link.# users identified link

     

  6. In the window that appears, you can click on any link in the "Action Taken" column for more details.action taken column

     

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11. Export: History to a Spreadsheet

Export data to a CSV file, which you can open in Excel or other spreadsheet software.

  1. Click Course Admin in your course navbar.
  2. Select Intelligent Agents.
  3. Click the down arrow next to the Intelligent Agent of interest.
  4. Click More Actions.more actions button

     

  5. Choose Export Agent History.menu

     

  6. Select the Agent, or leave it on All to export the results of all of your Intelligent Agent runs.select an agent menu

     

  7. Enter a date range. The spreadsheet will show the results of all runs between the "from" and "to" dates.date fields

     

  8. Click the Export button.export button

     

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12. Accessibility Tips

Help blind and low vision students easily navigate your Intelligent Agent email.

Sighted learners can scan email to quickly find what they need. Students who use text-to-speech software must listen to an entire email from start to finish. And, they must go through every email, one at a time.

You can help.


Solution

For more tips on creating accessible emails, visit the DRC's IT accessibility webpages.

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