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Best Practices: Using the New Features of Personalized Learning Designer


What is the Personalized Learning Designer?

Joule’s Personalized Learning Designer (PLD) gives you the ability to automate course tasks, saving the instructor time, while still providing participants with the immediate and timely feedback they need. With PLD, you can tailor each learner’s classroom experience,  so that instruction is focused and relevant to them as an individual. In addition, instructors can use PLD to quickly and easily identify participant behaviors, allowing for immediate action to remediate or accelerate learning. Plus, you can keep a finger on the pulse of the class with feedback, reminders, and recommendations based upon participants’ behaviors and assessments. In this blog post, we’ll look at how to use PLD, discuss Winter 2012 updates to PLD, and share some of the ways you can use PLD.

How do I create rules with PLD?

Automation of course activities using PLD works by creating rules that involve three elements: Events, Conditions, and Actions. Watch the video below to see a demonstration of creating a PLD rule.

What changes have been made to PLD?

With the updates to PLD in the Winter 2012 release, you can schedule when rules take effect, when they stop processing, and monitor students so that you can intervene if necessary. Changes made to PLD in the Winter 2012 release also include additions to all three elements of a PLD rule:

  • New Event Triggers: Recurring, Specific Time and Day, Submit Quiz or Assignment, Forum Reply, and Forum Topic Post
  • New Conditions: Course Login
  • New Actions: The “Send Email” action now includes additional options for who will appear as the sender of the e-mail. These include specific user roles, and well as a Custom e-mail address.

How might I use PLD in my courses?

Below, we’ve offered a few use cases that you can implement in your course, if they are applicable. Of course, these scenarios highlight only a few of the numerous tasks that PLD can automate.

Manually Graded Assignments Alert

Instructor A has high enrollment in each of the courses she teaches. Because of this, she wants to set appropriate expectations for when students should expect work returned with a grade and feedback. To automate this task, she creates a rule that displays an alert to each student upon submission of any assignment in the course using the following elements:


  • Event: Quiz or Assignment Submitted
  • Activity Type: Assignment
  • Activity: Any of Type


Since you will want this rule to fire every time a student submits as assignment, you should not choose any Conditions.


Display Alert

Potential Remediation E-Mail

Professor B is required to inform any student with a current grade average of 70% or lower he/she is in danger of failing the course. As assignments, activities, and quizzes are completed throughout the semester, sending out an e-mail to individual students is a time-consuming task. In order to make sure this is completed in a timely fashion, and that no student is missed, he creates a rule with the following elements:


  • Event: Recurring event
  • Occurs: Weekly
  • On the following days: Mon
  • At: 9:45
  • Starting: September 9, 2013
  • Ending: December 14, 2013


  • Condition Type: Course grade range
  • Course grade range: Grade is greater than or equal to ‘1%’ and Grade is less than ‘70%’


Send Email

Attendance Tracking E-Mail

Part of the attendance requirements for students at LMS University includes logging into each course they’re enrolled in within the first 7 days of the semester.  Facilitators need a way for the system to keep track of who has, and has not, logged into the class. This allows them to can keep an accurate record of who is in danger of being dropped from a course. To automate this task, facilitators can create a rule with the following elements:


  • Event: Specific date and time
  • Date: January 23, 2013 at 10:30


  • Condition Type: Course login
  • Course login: User ‘has NOT logged into course’ and within the last ‘7’ days


Send Email

One trick we like to use when using the Action “Send Email” is to send the e-mail not only to the Triggering User, but we also like to Cc the teacher, by using the “All users of role assigned in course” option, and selecting the Teacher role. This allows a teacher to verify that an e-mail was indeed sent. We suggest archiving these e-mails so that they can be forwarded to students who may need another copy.

If you’re interested in learning more tips and tricks for using Joule’s Personalized Learning Designer, enroll in our Advanced Course Building online course or our PLD webinar today!

Happy Moodling,
- April

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