What Are “Intelligent Agents”?

Intelligent Agents are a Brightspace tool that instructors can use to monitor students’ course activity without having to check on each student’s progress manually. Intelligent agents can automatically identify students who have (or have not) completed certain course tasks and can send personalized emails to those students. They can be used to both recognize student achievement (e.g., a high score on a quiz) and warn of potential problems (e.g., lack of online activity or poor performance on a quiz).

To create an agent, instructors need to specify the type of student activity they want the agent to monitor, schedule the agent to run, and decide whether the agent should send out emails.

How Can I Use Them in My Course?

Instructors can use intelligent agents to:

  • Welcome students to the course when they log in for the first time,
  • Reach out to students who have not accessed the course in x number of days,
  • Remind students that they have not yet viewed a particular content topic,
  • Inform students that they missed a deadline on an assignment or a quiz,
  • Congratulate students on a high grade on a quiz or an assignment,
  • Contact students who achieved a low grade on a quiz or assignment and remind them of office hours and other available supports,
  • Acknowledge participation in a discussion forum, or
  • Send a congratulatory message to students who have completed the last module or quiz in a course.

What Are the Benefits of Using Agents?

Using intelligent agents can be beneficial for both instructors and students.

  • Agents are an efficient way of monitoring course activity (no need for manual checks on student progress).
  • They allow instructors to easily identify students who may need extra support.
  • Using agents allows instructors to devote time to other course activities and tasks, such as providing individualized feedback to students, where needed.
  • Because emails sent by agents can be personalized, they can boost student engagement (for information on how to personalize emails, see section on Replace Strings).
  • Agents can be created at the beginning of the semester, and then ‘act’ on behalf of the instructor throughout the term.