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Folio’s Intelligent Agents

Studies show that in an online class, the most important types of interactions (engagements) happen between the instructors and learners; however, instructors are quite busy and don’t always have the time to do everything they would like to follow up with their students. Intelligent Agents (IAs) allow you to add automation to your course and are one way to boost instructor-student interactions. Intelligent agents (IAs) are customizable messages automatically emailed to individual learners when they fulfill a particular task. For example, a teacher may choose to set an intelligent agent to let a student know when they have missed a deadline on an assignment or whoever achieves an exceptional score on a quiz.

Intelligent Agents (IAs) require initial setup (which can take less than five minutes), and you can copy them over from semester to semester (with a little tweaking of the date, etc). IAs work all on their own in the background of the course. 

Here are some of the most common situations where using an IA might be beneficial to your learners:

  • Hasn’t accessed course in 2 weeks
  • Incomplete tasks on a checklist
  • Completed all tasks on a checklist
  • Earned 80% or higher on quiz/assignment
  • Failed test
  • Late assignment
  • No posts authored in a discussion topic

When you create a new agent, you need to determine:

  • The criteria the agent looks for. The agent can check user login activity, course activity and/or triggered release conditions. Be aware that intelligent agents (IAs) evaluate the status of release conditions at the time that they run. A user that may have satisfied a release condition on a prior run may no longer satisfy a release condition on a subsequent run, especially in the case of our “not” conditions.
  • How often the agent is scheduled to run and find users that meet its criteria. If you don’t set a schedule, the agent must be manually triggered on the Agent list page.
  • How often the agent takes action when a user satisfies the criteria. For example, will the IA send an email the first time the user triggers the agent or send reminder emails to the user every time the agent runs?
  • When sending emails to users, consider using {InitiatingUser} in the mail TO: field. This tells the system to review the class roster and get email addresses. Even though it doesn’t say email address, this replacement string looks for each user’s email address and triggers this agent. Instead of being a 1 to 30 email message, this will appear as a 1 to 1 email message.

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Last updated: 11/15/2023