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Intelligent Agents

Utilise defined criteria to automatically communicate with identified students.

Using Intelligent Agents

Intelligent Agents can be used to send automatic emails to students based on criteria met and schedules defined by you. This guide will show you how to create an agent. The example used is a scenario in which a student has not logged into the unit space for six consecutive days.

Below are the steps to use the Intelligent Agent


 1. Select Space Admin on the main navigation bar.

Space Admin menu

2. Under the Communication sub-heading, click Intelligent Agents.

Under communication heading, Intelligent Agents button is highlighted

3. From the Agent List screen click New.

Agent List menu with New button highlighted. Other options visible include More actions dropdown menu


Step Two: Add Agent Details

1. Write a name for your agent.

2. You can write a Description to remind you of the agent’s purpose.

3. Tick the Status box to enable the agent.

 create a new agent given name and description


Step Three: Add Agent Criteria

This example will show the set up for sending an email to a student who has not gone into the unit space for 6 days.

1. Assign the agent role to Users with specific roles, probably students. 

If you select All users visible in the classlist the email will also go out to every staff member involved in the space from tutors to librarians.

agent criteria roles


2. Scroll down to the Course Activity, tick the option Take action when the following course activity criteria are satisfied. This specifies the specific unit delivery space you are in.

3. Select the option User has not accessed the course for at least (write 6) days.

 IA course activity 


Step Four: Agent Action & Sending an Email

1. Select the first option Take action only the first time the agent's criteria are satisfied for a user to ensure that the email is sent only once. 

Select the second option only if you want the email to go out each time VU Collaborate recognises that someone hasn't accessed the course for 6 days. VU Collaborate checks this every 24 hours unless specified otherwise.

updated repetition action

 2. Write {InitiatingUser} in the To: to ensure that the email is sent to any user that meets the agent’s criteria. More information can be found by clicking "What special email addresses can I use?*"

 updated email settings

3. You can write your own email address in the Cc: to show students your email address and to receive a copy of each email sent. Alternatively, you can also use Bcc: to only receive a copy of each email sent.

4. Write the email subject. You can use the replace strings of {OrgUnitCode} and {OrgUnitName} to personalise the email with your own unit code and unit name. More information can be found by clicking on "What replace strings... *".  Replace strings use a code to personalise the message.  For example, the replace string {InitiatingUserFirstName} will identify the student's first name and use that instead.

Tip:  What replace strings can I use in the subject and message?

The following are replace strings you can use in the subject line and the message (email body):

{OrgName} - The name of the organisation.
{OrgUnitCode} - The code for the Org Unit.
{OrgUnitName} - The name of the org unit.
{OrgUnitStartDate} - The start date specified for the org unit.
{OrgUnitEndDate} - The end date specified for the org unit.
{InitiatingUserFirstName} - The first name of the initiating user.
{InitiatingUserLastName} - The last name of the initiating user.
{InitiatingUserUserName} - The username of the initiating user.
{InitiatingUserOrgDefinedId} - The Org Defined Id of the initiating user.
{LoginPath} - The address of the login path for the site.

5. Write the email message. You can use the replace string {InitiatingUserFirstName} to personalise the email with the student’s first name.

You can also attach relevant files (text document, audio or video) to the email.

write message and attachment for intelligent agent 

Select HTML format to customise your email.

updated email format


Step Five: Agent Schedules

1. Tick the box Use Schedule.

2. Click Update Schedule to specify the repeat and schedule dates options.

updated agent schedule

For example:

1. Select Repeats Daily and write 1 day to ensure that the agent checks the user’s criteria every day.

2. Tick Has Start Date to define when the agent will begin to check the criteria. Click on the date field and select the start date such as the first day of the teaching period.

3. Similarly, tick Has End Date and select the last day of the teaching period.

4. Click Update to finish the agent’s schedule set up.

 updated agent schedule dates

6. Once you are satisfied with the prepared intelligent agent, click Save and Close.


Copy Intelligent Agent from an existing space (Optional)

Same as other unit contents, you can copy Intelligent Agent between spaces or alternatively use the import-export function.

1. Navigating to Import/Export/Copy Components from Space Admin.

navigate from Space Admin to Import and Export

2. Search for the desired delivery or master space.

For more information on copy components, refer to this guide: Copying Selected Components Between Spaces

3. When choosing components to copy, scroll down to the bottom and select Intelligent Agents.

4. Select Continue.

select intelligent agent to copy over

5. Choose Finish to process.

confirm the copy


Further Support

Visit the VU Collaborate Help site at for up to date information and resources on blended learning or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Contact ITS Service Desk on (03) 9919 2777 or via self-service for further technical support.


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