Using learning analytics to improve student success

Have you utilised the Intelligent Agents tool in Brightspace? Intelligent Agents can be used to delve into unit analytics and enhance the student experience by automatically monitoring student activity and addressing concerns promptly with automated responses. They have the potential to deliver real impact whilst saving you valuable time.

Intelligent Agents work with release conditions. You can set them up to provide automated notifications when a defined activity occurs (or doesn’t occur) on your unit, such as who hasn’t viewed a key piece of content or who has attempted a formative quiz. Agents can be scheduled to run regularly or manually as required. They can automatically generate alerts or emails to staff, or direct to the identified students. Alternatively, you might just want to perform a practice run which will run a report without taking any action.

Agents can be an effective tool as they provide a personalised communication experience for students. Emails are received from your personal email address rather than from ‘Brightspace’ (they are totally separate to notifications, so students don’t need to be signed up to receive them) so students experience how their instructor is engaged with their learning and is helping them to succeed. Here are some ideas for using Intelligent Agents on your unit.


Create a message welcoming new students onto your unit and set an email to be sent automatically to students the first time they log onto the unit. Incorporate a VideoNote to introduce yourself, outlining the content of the unit and setting expectations.


Monitor engagement with specified content on your unit to ensure that students are keeping up with learning tasks. For example, you could send an automated email to those students who haven’t yet viewed a key lecture recording. Or you could set up a checklist of tasks to help keep students on track with their learning with an agent set up to automatically notify you of who hasn’t yet completed the checklist, meaning you can intervene and catch students before they start to fall behind.


Send automated reminders to students on the importance of logging in regularly to the unit to check for announcements and new materials. You could schedule a regular email to go directly to any students who haven’t logged into the unit in the past week, reminding them of how often content is updated and the importance of engaging with it in a timely manner.


Use agents to keep students motivated by automating feedback on assessments. For example, you could send an automated notification to congratulate students who have achieved a certain score on a formative quiz, or who have an improved quiz score on a previous attempt. You could target an email at certain grade boundaries and point students towards further resources to help them reach the next level.


Monitoring engagement with learning activities and assessment grades can be key to identifying students who may need an intervention. Send an automated notification to students achieving lower grades with guidance on marking criteria, areas for improvement and ideas for further resources. You might even want to pinpoint a certain grade where students will receive an automated email to book a time with you to discuss their progress.

Further guidance

Intelligent Agents are a really useful tool, especially with large cohorts, as they allow unit analytics to be delved into and student communications to be personalised. They can be set up against more than one criteria and you can view or export the history of previous runs allowing you to review progress.  Intelligent Agents can be carried across units but be aware that the settings don’t carry across and will need to be enabled.

Further guidance on using Intelligent Agents can be found on the Brightspace Staff Resources area.

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