Data & AssessmentElementary Report Cards For Admin (Additional Tools and Reports)ADMIN Create and Manage Predefined (Canned, Preselected, etc.) Comments

ADMIN Create and Manage Predefined (Canned, Preselected, etc.) Comments

The following steps will assist you in adding and/or modifying Predefine Comments for usage in Secondary or Elementary report cards. When created and applied, Predefined Comments become an option in report cards for users to apply to a student. Comments can be created and support various languages if provided in additional languages.

Before Getting Started

There are some key points to keep in mind as you create and use Predefined Comments:

  • Illuminate does not have any translating feature built-in. This means if you add only English predefine comments in Illuminate, Illuminate will not on generate a report card for a Spanish student or automatically translate the English comments to Spanish.
  • Do you plan to build/administer other report card templates aside from English?  For example, in District X, they give out an English and Spanish elementary report card.  If so, you probably want Spanish translated comments to show on a Spanish report card template and English comments to show on the English template.  Please ensure that for each English comment, you add a Spanish equivalent.
  • Illuminate does not support gender placeholder (ie. [He/She] is the best student in the whole wide world!) replacements within your comments. The idea is that with the placeholder in the comment, the system will replace the [He/She] placeholder with regards to the student's gender.  Whatever you enter for the comment, is exactly what will come out on a printed report card.
  • It is recommended to NOT have over 50 comments. Try to refine and limit the number of predefined comments, creating comments that can apply and be streamlined across grade levels as opposed to creating options per grade level or per program. The list of comments shows in its entirety and is not able to be shared out by grade level such as First Grade only seeing First Grade comments. But if you do, skip down to Mass Importing Comments so we can give you a helping hand!

Below is the user-entry view of how both Comment Types (1) and Predefined Comments (2) look like in the report card entry screen. Visit the

Where to Start

Where to Start

1. Select the Admin gear.

2. Under Other, click Code Management.

Comment Types (Optional)

Comment Types provides the ability to visually divide the list of comments into sections or categories, making browsing through the available comments more efficient and easier for users. For example, if there are certain comments categorized as Effort/Work Habits and Academic on the report card, create a Comment Type called Effort/Work Habits and another called Academic. When creating comments, you can assign the appropriate Comment Type to each comment.

Comment Types (Optional)

1. In the search box, type in or scroll down the code sets, to find the set called "Grade Comments Types".

2. Once found, click Load to list the codes/comments within this set.

Grade Comment Type Overview

Grade Comment Type Overview

If Comment Types have previously been created, they will be listed in this overview screen. You can either Add Code (1) to add a new comment type, or click on the pencil/paper icon (2) of an existing comment type to edit that specific comment type.

Add a Comment Type

Add a Comment Type

When adding a Comment Type, there are only a few required fields that need to be provided. All other fields are considered optional:

  1. Enter a Code Key which is a unique identifier (alpha, numeric, or both can be applied) for the Comment Type being created.
  2. Provide a Code Translation which becomes the displayed title of the comment type on the user's Report Card entry screen
  3. Choose the Site the comment type applies to. Best Practice is to select the 'district' to apply to all sites. If the comment type is for a specific site, select that one site. You cannot multi-select sites or choose more than one.

Select Save (4) to apply changes.

Optional, but helpful if desired:

  1. Apply a particular Sort Order other than alphabetical (default) to the types when displayed in the user's entry screen.

Predefined (Canned, Preselected) Comments

The following steps are necessary to create predefined comments. Permissions must be enabled in order to add and edit within Code Management.

1. In the search box, type in or scroll down the code sets,to find the set called "Grade Comments".

2. Once found, click Load to list the codes/comments within this set.

Grade Comment Codes Overview

Grade Comment Codes Overview

The page will refresh and list all predefine comments that currently exist. You can either Add Code (1) to add a new predefine comment, or click on the pencil/paper icon (2) of an existing comment to edit that specific comment.

Add Code

Most options when creating a comment are set up for success and assigned by default. The following options are required when creating a comment:

  1. Enter a Code Key or unique key/value for the comment you are adding.  By unique, Illuminate expects a uniquekey for each unique English comment. A few things to keep mind - When adding another language comment that is a translation of English, you must use the same Code Key value as the English.  For example, if the English comment was "1 - Student is smart!", then the Spanish comment equivalent would be "1 - El estudiante es inteligente."
  2. Enter the Code Translation or expected comment sentence/string. He/She will need to be included in the sentence or string if desired.
  3. Choose the Site that you would like this comment affiliated to, generally this would be the 'District' site. If this is a district-wide comment that applies to all schools under it, choose the District site. Currently, comments cannot be assigned to specific sites even with this option here.
  4. Is it k-6? is asking "Is this comment used for Elementary Standards-based Report Cards? Although it states "K-6", it's not limited to just those grade levels. K-6 means that you plan to use or not use it within the Elementary report card module. Best practice would include setting this to 'Yes/True" for DNA clients.
  5. (ISI Only) Is 7-12? If you have purchased and are using Illuminate's Secondary report card module, do you want to make this comment available within that module?  Just like #4, although it states "7-12", it's not limited to just those grade levels, but rather to the Secondary report card module.
  6. Is Active? controls if the comment appears and is made available to users on the entry screen for Report Cards. Do you want this comment to be active/deactivated?  Choose "No" and this comment no longer appears as a choice for teachers when giving grades.
  7. Is Special Ed? makes the comment available for only for Special Eduction students. Generally "No", but this is how you can limit comments to only SPED students.
  8. Choose what Correspondence Language this comment is for.  Please be sure to choose the correct language that matches the Code Translation in step 2.  This is how Illuminate will know if a student has a Correspondence Language of "Spanish", that when generating a report card it will pull the "Spanish" translated comment instead of English.
  9. Select a Grade Comment Type, to categorize or group your comments.
  10. If you have a certain Sort Order you would like your comments to be sorted in, you can manage the sort order here with a number. If also using a Comment Type, the comments within that type will be in the order you decide.

Select Save (11) to apply changes and save the newly created comment. Repeat the above steps for each comment desired.

Supporting Additional Languages

If wanting to support additional correspondence languages, comments must be created in the translated language. When adding the translated comment using all the required steps above, here are some best practice tips for the following key steps:

  • Make sure both the English and additional language comment have the same Code Key (1).
  • Provide the matching or appropriate translated string or sentence when creating the Code Translation (2).
  • Confirm the correct Correspondence Language (8) as appropriate.

These steps will provide translated comments onto the English Report Card. If wanting to provide a Report Card in other languages, you must provide that master document or template and set it up in Step 9 - Create Report Card Templates of the building process.

Mass Importing Comments

After you've gone through the pain of manually adding comments and have gotten to comment #10, you are likely wondering why you are copying from an Excel sheet to paste into Illuminate. Just wait, there's hope. If you should have more than 25 comments (including translations), Illuminate can help to assist in importing your comments. Anything less than 25, you can probably beat us to the finish line.  

Create an Excel File

Please provide the comments in an Excel format with the following Columns:  The list of fields to include are:Code Key

  • Code Translation
  • Site ID
  • K-6
  • 7-12th
  • Active
  • Is special ed
  • Correspondence Language
  • Grade Comment Type


Send to Illuminate Support

Once the file is complete, send the file to (Don't forget to CC or include your Implementation Manager).  Within the ticket, please ask for Illuminate's assistance to import your list of predefined comments.

Give yourself and Illuminate some time. Depending on the time of year and season, assistance may take a few days to process. Do not wait until the last minute and expect last minute results. You will want some time to review the imported comments, test how they are displayed on the entry screen and of course, how they print and display on the final report card.

Next Steps

Now that you've done your homework, you can now create the Fields! Visit Step 8a - Create Report Card Fields to get started!