D2L Brightspace: Create and Send Automated Emails Using Intelligent Agents


How can I set up automated reminder emails in D2L Brightspace? What are ways I can monitor student activity in my courses?


This article provides an overview of the Intelligent Agents tool on these topics:

  • What are Intelligent Agents?
  • What can I use Intelligent Agents for?
  • Example: Automatically email a student about course access
  • Personalized messages with Replacement Strings
  • Learn More about Intelligent Agents

What are Intelligent Agents?

Intelligent Agent monitors activity in a course offering based on the criteria and schedule set by an instructor. It then creates a log of activity that can be reviewed later. And, if you chose, the agent will automatically send an email to the instructor, student, or both to notify of the activity.

What can I use Intelligent Agents for?

You can use Intelligent Agents to encourage participation, send reminders and kudos, or to identify need for additional support, and much more.

Intelligent Agents use Release Conditions to set criteria. Examples uses for agents include:

  • Email students with grades below or above a certain level
  • Check for students that have not accessed the course within a specific number of days
  • Identify students who have viewed a specific content topic, submitted to an assignment, posted to a discussion, and/or attempted a quiz

Example: Automatically email a student when they haven’t accessed their course recently

There are three steps to setting up most intelligent agents:

Step 1: Set the From email address (One time set-up)

The first step to setting up an Intelligent Agent is to set the email address you would like the automated emails to come from. Set this up one time for the whole course in the Intelligent Agents Settings:

  1. Navigate to the D2L Brightspace course you want to add Intelligent Agents to
  2. Click Course Admin in the course navigation bar
  3. Click the Settings gear icon in the upper right corner of the Agent List
  4. Click the circle button next to Set custom values for this course
  5. Enter your name and email address in the text boxes
  6. Click Save

Note: If you leave the email on the default value, when a student replies to the system default email, desire2learn@mnsu.edu, it will create an IT Solutions Center ticket request for help.

Step 2: Set the Schedule

  1. In the Scheduling widget, select the frequency (no schedule, one time run, hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, or annually)
  2. Enter a number in the repetition text box.
  3. Select the scheduled time, and scheduled dates for running the Intelligent Agent.

Screen shot of Scheduling widget in Intelligent Agent set-up

Note: It is recommended to set the end date at the end of the semester to avoid sending automated emails after the course has ended.

Step 3: Set up the Criteria of the Intelligent Agent

  1. Click the New button in the upper right corner of the Agent List
  2. Enter a name and description for your Agent
  3. In the 1. Criteria area select the circle button next to Users with specific roles. Check the box next to Student
  4. Still under 1. Criteria, check the box next to Course Activity
  5. Still under 1. Criteria, next to Take action when…Select the circle button next to User has not accessed course for at least… and enter the number of days you prefeR
  6. Under 2. Actions, select the circle button next to Take action every time the agent is evaluated, and the agent’s criteria are satisfied for a user. This allows the notification to send as many times as required based on student activity throughout the semester
  7. Under 2. Actions, you will see Send an email option
  8. Enter the Replacement String: {InitiatingUser} in the To field to send an email to the student who fulfilled the criteria (E.g. didn’t access the course for three days)
  9. Alternatively, enter the Instructor’s email address in the To field to notify yourself of course inactivity
  10. Enter a subject and an email body message

Note: You can personalize the Message field in an Intelligent Agent using Replacement Strings.

  • To personalize the name in the Message field you can use Replacement Strings: {InitiatingUserFirstName} {InitiatingUserLastName}
  • To like to include information about the course name and number, e.g. SPAN 101, use Replacement Strings: {OrgUnitName} {OrgUnitCode},
  • To include information about the initiating user/student's last date of course access, use Replacement String: {LastCourseAccessDate}
  • Learn even more about Replacement Strings used in Intelligent Agents in this documentation from D2L Brightspace

Example of Intelligent Agent email set-up with Replacement Strings:

Example of an email sent via Intelligent Agents with Replacement String:


Learn More


Learn more about setting up Intelligent Agents with these tutorial videos from D2L Brightspace.

Get more ideas for using automated emails in this quick reference guide to Intelligent Agents on the Brightspace Community.


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Article ID: 158
Thu 2/17/22 2:49 PM
Thu 4/21/22 10:18 AM