When you think of Intelligent Agents, are you picturing something Marty McFly encountered in 2015 but that has sadly not come to us yet? (We at iDocs are still waiting for our hoverboards.) Fear not, Intelligent Agents are actually something wonderfully futuristic that you can use today!
Instructors can use these D2L tools to set up automated emails, which are launched when specified criteria in a course are met. Those emails can go to anyone (student, instructor, or iDocs staff) and be triggered by almost any criteria in the course.
There are many types of Intelligent Agents that can be programmed. For example, scores on quizzes or exams, submissions to the Dropbox, or enrollment in a group can all be used to launch an automated email that says whatever you like. Want to encourage students who score fail an exam to contact you for additional help? An Intelligent Agent can help. Or, do you want to email students when you finish grading a particular assignment? Intelligent Agents can do that automatically! The options are almost limitless. Speak with your instructional designer to learn more.
The iDocs team wanted a way to alert students who have not accessed their courses in the first week. If they intend to drop the class, timing is crucial for them to get the most reimbursement. If they don’t intend to drop and simply misplaced their login information, they may not know who to contact. Or, they might simply have forgotten to log in!
Faced with this dilemma, iDocs set up an Intelligent Agent that checks for class attendance. If a student has not logged in by the second day of the class, an automated email is sent to the student, the instructor, and iDocs. The email reminds the student that the course has begun and encourages them either log in or drop the class. Pilot testing showed this tool was very effective in increasing student engagement in the course: after receiving the email, 20 out of 24 truant students logged into their courses. Using automated emails saved staff and instructors time and frustration, and increased student engagement.
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