Intelligent Agents

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The Intelligent Agents tool allows you to automatically generate a response (e.g. email) to various situations that may arise in your unit. This can greatly assist your student retention techniques. Arising situations are detected by the conditions that you set.

The criteria that the agents search for are login activity and release conditions in the Learning Environment. You can use existing release conditions, or create new ones for your agents. The agent also sends a separate email to the creator of the agent when it finds users matching its criteria. You can run agents manually or set them to run on a schedule; daily, weekly, monthly, or annually.

Example uses for intelligent agents include:

  • email students with grades below a certain level
  • email students that have not logged in within a specific number of days
  • email students that view a specific topic
  • email students who did not submit an assignment
  • email students who did not post to a certain topics in Discussions.

Every time an agent runs, it sends a log of its activities to its creator. This email lists the following information:

  • unit code and name
  • which agent ran
  • time and date the request was submitted
  • time and date the request was finished
  • whether the agent took action
  • any error text.

Settings

Unit Chair can now set custom values for the Name that emails come from and Reply-To address for responses so that the automated emails can appear to come from Unit Chair instead of from noreply. Students can reply directly to the Intelligent Agent emails and replies are directed to Unit Chair.

  1. Go to Setup and click on Intelligent Agents.
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Select Set custom values for this unit, enter your name and fill in the email address.
  4. Click Save.

Create an Intelligent Agent

  1. Click on Setup.
  2. Then, click on Intelligent Agents.
  3. Click New on the Agent List page.
  4. Type an Agent Name for the agent.
  5. Type a Description.
  6. Clear the Status check box if you do not want the agent enabled once you save.
  7. Determine the Agent Criteria, if you want the agent to search for login criteria, select the Take action when the following login criteria are satisfied check box and choose which of the two login activities you want to monitor.
  8. If you want the agent to search for site activity, select the Take action when the following site activity criteria are satisfied check box and choose which of the two accessed site you want to monitor.
  9. If you want the agent to respond when a release condition is met: select the Attach Existing, or Create and Attach button and either select or create release conditions for the agent to monitor.
    Note: Depending on the Intelligent Agent you’re setting up, you might want to consider to attach the release conditions only to “Student” role.
  10. Select one of the Action Repetition radio buttons to set whether the agent takes action once or any time the conditions are met.
  11. If you want the agent to run on a schedule, select the Use Calendar check box, then click the Update Calendar button. Set the schedule in the Update Agent Calendar pop-up. Please ensure that you set an End Date so that the agent no longer running after the end date.
  12. Select HTML or Plain Text radio buttons for the email format.
  13. Type the names of recipients in the To, Cc, and Bcc field by using special replace strings in these fields. See Replacement strings.
  14. Type the subject in the Email Subject field. You can use special replace strings in this field.
  15. Type the body of your email in the Message field.
  16. Click Save.

Run an Intelligent Agent

Typically, intelligent agents are set up to run automatically. If you do not have a regular calendar set up for an agent, you must run it manually.

  1. Click Run agent now from context menu of the agent you wish to run.
  2. Click Run to confirm.

Practice Run

You can have an Agent perform a practice run to see who will be identified by the agent without sending students an email. This is a good way of testing out a new Agent to help ensure that it’s appropriately created.

  1. From the context menu of the Agent you want to perform a practice run for, click on Practice Run.
  2. To view the users identified, on the Agent List, in the Results of Last Run column, click on the link.

View History

  1. From the context menu of the Agent, click on View History.
  2. In this view, you can see when the agent was last run, who was identified, the type of run (for example, Manual, Scheduled, or Practice), who ran the agent, and if any errors occurred.

Edit an Intelligent Agent

  1. Click on the name of the agent you want to edit.
  2. Make your revisions.
  3. Click Save and Close.

Copy an Intelligent Agent

  1. Click Copy from the context menu of the agent you wish to copy.

Delete an Intelligent Agent

  1. Click Delete from the context menu of the agent you wish to delete.

Note: You cannot recover deleted agents.

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