Intelligent Agents

Intelligent Agents send an automated email when instructor-defined criteria are met. For example, instructors can email students who have not logged in recently, whose grades have fallen below a certain level or who have viewed a specific content topic.

Access Intelligent Agents from the navigation bar or Edit Course.

    1. Select Edit Course.
    2. Select Course Administration
    3. Select Intelligent Agents. 
    4. The Agent List page will open.
    5. Select New.
    6. Enter an agent name (required) and description (optional).
    7. Select Agent is Enabled if the agent is to be active as soon as created. This setting only applies if the agent  is set to run automatically on a schedule.
    8. Determine the criteria the agent looks for, for example:
    9. To have the agent to send an email to a student who has not accessed the course recently, select Take action when the following course activity criteria are satisfied, and enter a number in the User has not accessed the course for at least [#] days field.
    10. To have the agent to send an email when a student views or interacts with a specific item in the course, click Create and Attach in the Release Conditions section. Choose a condition that must be met from the options on the Condition Type menu, and then specify the actions the student must take in the Condition Details section. Click Create when done selecting release conditions.
    11. Select one of the “Action Repetition” radio buttons to set whether the agent sends email once or any time the conditions are met.
    12. Note: You can now add attachments to automated email messages when creating and editing intelligent agents. The intelligent agent email template contains an Attachments area that enables you to upload local files, select from available course files, or record audio. Attachment size is based on the email attachment size setting for your organization.
    1. For an agent to run automatically, check the Use Schedule checkbox.
    2. Select Update Schedule.
    3. The Update Agent Schedule window will open.
    4. Set the frequency and dates in the fields provided.
    5. Select Update
    6. Enter the replace string in the “To” field of the automated email to be sent. (Options listed below.) 
    7. Enter a subject and message for the email sent by the Intelligent Agent. Special replace strings can be used in these fields as well.
    8. Select Save and Close.
    9. Note: Intelligent Agents will be disabled once the course is inactive.
This “practice run” will generate a report of what students would have been caught by the agent. In a practice run, no emails are sent. The list that is generated indicates who would have been contacted with the given parameters of an agent, which allows instructors to test how a particular agent’s settings would impact students.
    1. On the Agent list page, select the dropdown arrow next to the name of the agent.
    2. Select Practice Run.
    3. Select Run.
    4. On the confirmation page, select Done.
By default, intelligent agent emails come from “eLearning” and the reply-to email is “”. It is recommended that you change this email address to an email that is monitored by a person
    1. On the Agent List page, select Settings.
    2. Check “Set custom values for this course”.
    3. Enter the name the email should appear to be from. For example, “Professor Smith”.
    4. Enter the reply-to email address that students should reply to. For example, “”.
    5. Select Save.

Replace strings are specially formatted codes that can be entered into automated emails; they replace the need to enter information that might change from student-to-student. For example, to send a personalized message to each student in a class of 60, use the replace string {InitiatingUserFirstName}, and the names of the students will be filled in automatically.

See below for all of the replace string options and the text they generate. In the course, select What replace strings can I use in the subject and message under the email subject text box to see a list of replace string options.

Replace String Generated Text

{OrgName} – Delta College
{OrgUnitCode} – The code for the course (i.e., WRD_103_103_0990)
{OrgUnitName} – The name of the course
{OrgUnitId} – A 7 digit code (don't use this one)
{InitiatingUserFirstName} – The first name of the initiating user
{InitiatingUserLastName} – The last name of the initiating user
{InitiatingUserUserName} – The username of the initiating user
{InitiatingUserOrgDefinedId} – The ID number of the initiating user
{LoginPath} – The address of the login path for the site
{LastCourseAccessDate} – The date the initiating user last accessed the course
{LastLoginDate} – The date the initiating user last logged in

Sample email using replace strings

Dear {InitiatingUserFirstName}, You did not logged into the {OrgUnitName} course site in the last week. Please remember that regular participation in course activities is essential for success in this course!  Please log in to the course site as soon as possible. 

In the example above, each student’s name and the course title will automatically appear when the email is sent see below the bold text indicates what was added based on the replace string in the above example:

Dear John, You did not logged into the Composition & Rhetoric II course site in the last week. Please remember that regular participation in course activities is essential for success in this course! Please log into the course site as soon as possible.

Download these step-by-step directions (PDF) for creating specific intelligent agents.

    • Hasn't accessed course in X Weeks
    • Incomplete tasks on a checklist
    • Completed all tasks on a checklist
    • Earned 80% or higher on a quiz
    • Failed a quiz
    • Late assignment
    • No posts in discussion board
    • Received feedback on an assignment
    • Reached milestone (halfway) in course