Many instructors spend a significant chunk of time sending emails to students to remind them to check your Angel course for updates, or to remind them that they have not met other conditions. This can get very time consuming. Not everyone is fortunate to have a dedicated TA. You may be able to offload some of this work to Angel though. One of the ways to do this, is through an Agent.
To create an Agent that for example, performs an action, say send an email message, to those students who did not meet a certain condition, say check their Angel course within the last 7 days, follow these steps.
1. Go to your course, and click on the “Automate” tab.
2. Click on the, “Add New Agent” link right below the Agents Console.
3. On the next screen, (see screenshot below) you can set the schedule for the Agent to run. So in the example below, the Agent will run once every day, at 9:05 a.m.
4. Click on “Next”, and then in Step two, you can determine whether the Agent is going to monitor certain users, or a selection of users. You can refine your selection by picking which course rights the users must have to be affected by the Agent. The default is “Any Rights”, which means the Agent is going to apply to students, TA’s, and instructors in the course. You can also limit the Agent to a certain team, using the Team filter.
5. The next section is the, “User Selection Conditions”. This is where you set up a condition that needs to be met, to initiate an action by the agent (in this case an email to selected users who meet the condition).
For example, the instructor may wish Angel to automatically send out an email message only to students who have not logged into their courses within the last 4 days. The instructor may want to insure that the students check their courses at regular intervals, so that students can see if there are new announcements, new tasks due, new discussion posts, etc.
Another example is an instructor may want Angel to send out an email if the student has not posted or replied to a particular discussion forum. In that case under Condition select, “Forum Posts”, and set the condition to only email students who have not contributed any discussion posts or replies to the “Week 2 Discussion board” (or any other of your discussion boards visible from this drop-down menu). The next section, “Agent Summary”, simply summarizes the course of action if a certain condition is met. See example below.
6. In step 3, you select what action you want to be taken as a result of a student having met the condition you set up in step 2. In the examples mentioned so far, the action you want is for an email to be sent to the student, letting them know to go to Angel and log into the course, or to let them know they have not yet posted or replied to a particular discussion forum. So in these cases, select “Mail (Internal)” in the “Choose Action Type” section.
7. In the next area, you can select who you want the message to go to. Select “All Filtered Users”, if you only want Angel to notify the students who have not met the condition you set in step 2.
Then you create an appropriate message and subject and you can leave the other options blank. See example below.
8. Click “Next”, and then view the summary on the next page. If it all looks good, click “Save”, and you’re done. You can always go back and edit specific parameters if need be.