Report Card Field Type Guide

Report Card Field Group and Fields are what users see in the entry screen to know what data needs to be entered for the students. Fields are specifically tied to student data which can be from a variety of data sources such as Manual Entry, Gradebook, Assessments, or even Custom Reports. When a field is created there are a variety of options to choose from such as if the field is required during the entry process, visible to users, or even start with a default value.

This guide is to provide more detailed information, examples, and best practices for each field type available in support of your report card needs.

Where to Start

Click Grades > Under Report Card Administration, select Field Groups>select Manage Fields of a desired Field Group>

Field Type Overview

Field Type Overview

Field Types indicate how data is entered or populated. Depending on the Field Type, there may be additional settings and configurations in order for data to be display on the Report Card as needed. There are three families of Field Types:

Manual Entry, where the user manually enters data:

  • Whole Number, a whole number value
  • Decimal Number, any decimal mark or value
  • Text for limited characters, one word, one line entries, one or more letters, numbers or characters
  • Date, to be entered in the format of mm/dd/yyyy
  • Boolean, for a Yes/No/True/False value option
  • Free-entry Comments, is most common for Report Card comments which allow for hundreds of characters

Custom Manual Entry, where a previous setup piece has been completed and users will be given a drop-down or menu or choices available to enter in the field:

  • Predefined Value, marks that come from the predefined value sets you created
  • Predefined Comment, provides users with a drop down list of comments you have previously entered through Code Management

 Pre-Populated Entry, where data comes from another source or place in Illuminate and is populated automatically on the report card for the student when applicable:

  • Custom Report Value, will populate any value from a previously created custom report
  • Assessment or Gradebook Score, where data has been linked to an assessment or teacher's gradebook
  • Assessment Field, where data is tied to a specific field or area of an assessment's data such as "mastery" or "performance level"

NOTE: If there is EVER a possibility you might use Illuminate's GradeBook you MUST use the field type Assessment or Gradebook Score.

Field Type Guide

Although, the most common field type for report cards is Assessment or Gradebook Score, there are many more types of fields that are supported depending on your report cards design and expectations.

Below is a field type guide on each field type available, which includes best practices tips, examples, and preferred options.

Whole Number
Whole Number

Select Whole Number if the field is to be entered as a numerical value by the user. This number does not include decimals.

Best Practice Field Options recommended for this field type are the following:

  • Required
  • Show on Entry Screen

Entry View

Users will be prompted to enter a whole number or integar, no characters or decimals. Notice if a decimal is entered, the user will not be able to save entered data and is prompted to change it to a whole number or integar.

Decimal Number
Decimal Number

Select Decimal Number is a field where a number with decimals is to be entered such as 0.5 or 10.25. This is a desired field type for manually entered attendance that includes half days in days present, absent, or tardies.

Best Practice Field Options recommended for this field type are the following:

  • Required
  • Show on Entry Screen

Entry View

Entry View
Text
Text

Select Text is a field that needs to be manually entered with a word, short phrase, or short answer such as Nickname, Favorite Subject, Birthdate, Reading Group Name, etc.

Best Practice Field Options recommended for this field type are the following:

  • Show on Entry Screen
  • Allow Printing of Current Value Only

Entry View

Users are given a text box to enter information as the field suggests. Keep in mind, this is meant for "short and sweet" words or phrases such as nickname, or even writing out the birthdate. Please note, the text box in the entry screen may be larger than the designated area on the report card.

Date
Date

Select Date for a field to generate a date from a calendar tool such as Parent Teacher Conferences, After School Services, etc.

Best Practice Field Options recommended for this field type are the following:

  • Required, depending on the context of the field
  • Show on Entry Screen

Entry View

Entry View

When the field is selected, a calendar will pop-up prompting the user to select a calendar date.

Boolean (Y/N; T/F)
Boolean (Y/N; T/F)

Select Boolean for a field to generate either a Y/N or T/F. This is particularly helpful for custom reporting options once data becomes available after the grading period has closed.

Best Practice Field Options recommended for this field type are the following:

  • Required, depending on the context of the field
  • Show on Entry Screen
  • Default Value to Previous Grading Period
  • Allow Printing of Current Value Only

Entry View

Entry View

A value set with values such as Y or N will automatically be applied to the field. Users will select an appropriate value.

Predefined Value
Predefined Value

Select Predefined Value for a field to provides a dropdown of criteria the user can enter for the field. A list of all Predefined Valuespreviously created, displays here. Review Step 5 - Create Report Card Predefined Value Sets of the setup process. Most common value sets are for fields that populate effort marks, in need of a check or particular character, learner behaviors, etc.

Best Practice Field Options recommended for this field type are the following:

  • Required, depending on the context of the field
  • Show on Entry Screen
  • Default Value to Previous Grading Period - most common for Learner Behaviors or Effort

Illuminate Tip! Want a mark other than 'x' or 'X'? Those with MAC, click "ALT+V" to create a √! PC users, you can copy/paste a unique character into the abbreviation field when creating a value set.

Entry View

Entry View

Users will be provided the unique and customized drop down of options to enter for a student within in a field.

Free Entry Comment
Free Entry Comment

Select Free Entry Comments for a field where users are enter text for areas like comments. The space on the report card template will determine the Maximum Character Count. Entering a count will display on the entry screen, but will not hinder the user from typing more than the space will allow.

Best Practice Field Options recommended for this field type are the following:

  • Required
  • Show on Entry Screen
  • Maximum Character Count suggested based on template's design

Entry View

Entry View

Users will be provided a large space to type a large amount of text. Notice the information at the bottom indicates the Maximum Character Count provided during setup of the field. It is advised to test a character count and print a report card to see if the proper formatting is appropriate for the designated space on the report card.

Predefined Comments
Predefined Comments

Select Predefined Comments for a field where users are to select from a dropdown menu pre-made comments available. For each comment or line, a field will need to be made. If a user needs to enter 5 predefined comments, 5 fields need to be created. Visit Add/Modify Predefine (Canned, Preselected, etc.) Comments for additional setup procedures needed.

Best Practice Field Options recommended for this field type are the following:

  • Required
  • Show on Entry Screen
  • Maximum Character Count suggested based on template's design

Entry View

Users will see available comments similar to a value set. Only one predefined comment can be selected at a time for each available field.

Custom Report Value
Custom Report Value

Select Custom Report Value for a field where data is to be generated from a custom report. This is especially helpful when wanting to add various data elements to display on a report card, that may not be tied to an assessment, gradebook, or are desired to be entered by the teacher user. Data is dynamic, changing has it is updated providing the most up to date information available tied to the student. If data doesn't apply to the student, the field will be blank. Visit Create a Custom Report to learn more! Examples would include support of attendance data, specific programs or intervention, or primary assessment data typically housed in a Summary Assessment.

Best Practice Field Options recommended for this field type are the following:

  • Show on Entry Screen, so users can see the value coming from the custom report

Entry Screen

When a custom report is linked to a field, the data will auto populate if available or the student. The data is dynamic meaning it will changes and update as the data changes. The values are in gray indicating that users CAN change the data, but an option can be selected to just show users the values without editing rights.

Want to learn more about Custom Reports and Report Cards? Visit Create Custom Reports for Report Cards to guide you.

Assessment or Gradebook Score
Assessment or Gradebook Score

Best Practice Field Options recommended for this field type are the following:

  • Show on Entry Screen
  • Overwritable by Teachers, if piloting linking from Gradebooks or testing with users who are mildly using Gradebooks - otherwise this is typically turned off or disabled

If wanting to link or populate data from an Assessment or Gradebook Score, additional settings will appear:

  • Select an appropriate Value Scale (1) from the drop down menu.
  • Select the Category Weight Aggregation Algorithm (2) you wish to use based on gradebook practices.
For Points-Based Gradebooks, select Percentage-Based Weighted Algorithm.
For Standards-Based Gradebooks, select Rubric (Beta).
  • Click Add Weight Category (3) to continue and add additional settings to this field. Depending on the algorithm chosen above, the settings and Aggregate Calculation will adjust accordingly.
Category Types and Calculations
Category Types and Calculations

For Points Based Gradebooks, once the appropriate algorithm (1) has been selected, various Category Types (2) become available to choose from such as Assessments, Assessment Question Groups, Standards, or Gradebook. The category type will need to have a Aggregate Calculation (3) selected such as Average, to populate data accordingly.

For Standards Based Gradebooks, once the appropriate algorithm (4) has been selected, there is only one defaulted Category Type (5) of Standard to choose from. The category type will need to have a Aggregate Calculation (6) assigned according to grading practices and structures. Keep in mind, best practice is to use a calculation that is district-wide and similar to that of Standards Based Gradebook calculations. If different, it is advised to communicate such calculations to teachers since it will be the active calculation for the report card, regardless of which calculation is applied to the gradebook.

Need to review various Standards-Based calculations? Visit Standards-Based Gradebook Calculations FAQ and ADMIN Setup Standards Based Gradebooks in Report Cards for details.

Depending on the Category Weight chosen, there are 4 types of categories to choose from: Assessments, Assessment Question Groups, Standards, or Teacher Gradebooks. Any single or combination of these categories can be used to calculate a report card mark.

Add Assessments

If the field is to calculate and populate data of specific assessments, do the following:

  • Enter the Category Name (1), typically to describe what the category entails
  • Enter the Weight (2) that represents the percentage these assessment will contribute to the final mark
  • Select Assessment (3) as Category Type
  • Select the checkmark Allow Teacher to Link GradeBooks and/or Allow Teachers to Link Assessments (5) if you want teachers to be able to add gradebooks and/or assessments in addition to those you select. Best practice is to Allow Teacher to Link Gradebooks, since assessment scores can be linked as a Gradebook assignment
  • Select the green plus icon to Add Assessments (6) that you want to include as part of the final mark. Make sure the assessments have been shared with you
  • The appropriate Aggregate Calculation (7) displays as Average
  • Once changes are applied, also select Save at the top

When selecting this Weight Category, it is important to know and understand:

  • The report card builder must have access to assessments that need to be linked
  • For the assessments selected, the calculation will include the total number of points earned across the selected assessments out of the total number of points possible across the selected assessments. For example, if Assessment 1 is 90/100, Assessment 2 is 75/100, Assessment 3 is 14/25, and Assessment 4 is 35/45, the calculation or score would be 214 total points earned out of 270 total points possible. The average calculation or value for this field would be 79.25% for this field.
  • If you are adding multiple categories, remember the sum of your category weights must equal 100%. If the sum is not 100%, you will receive an error message and will not be able to save your work
  • Most commonly used if a field needs to be comprised of assessments administered at the site or district level
Add Assessment Question Groups

If the field is to calculate and populate data of specific assessment question groups, do the following:

  • Enter the Category Name (1), typically to describe what the category entails
  • Enter the Weight (2) that represents the percentage these assessment will contribute to the final mark
  • Select Assessment Question Group (3) as Category Type.
  • Select the checkmark Allow Teacher to Link GradeBooks (4) and/or Allow Teachers to Link Assessments (5) if you want teachers to be able to add gradebooks and/or assessments in addition to those you select. Best practice is to Allow Teacher to Link Gradebooks, since assessment scores can be linked as a Gradebook assignment
  • Not required, but optional, is to select specific Assessments (6) that question groups are generating data from
  • Select the green plus icon to add Question Groups (7) that you want to include as part of the final mark. Make sure the assessments have been shared with you. This is best if a common question group is used amongst many assessments and if selected, will pull data from all assessments that have the selected question group.
  • The default Aggregate Calculation (8) is Average
  • Once changes are applied, also select Save at the top

When selecting this Weight Category, it is important to know and understand:

  • The report card builder must have access to assessments of the question groups desired to be linked
  • For the assessments selected, the calculation will include the total number of points earned across the selected question groups out of the total number of points possible across the selected assessments and question groups
  • This is most commonly used with question groups are similar across assessments at a site or district level and for a field that reflects a specific question group
  • If you are adding multiple categories, remember the sum of your category weights must equal 100%. If the sum is not 100%, you will receive an error message and will not be able to save your work.
Add GradeBook

If the field is to calculate and populate data from a Teacher's Gradebook, do the following:

  • Enter the Category Name (1), typically to describe what the category entails
  • Enter the Weight (2) that represents the percentage these assessment will contribute to the final mark.
  • Select Teacher Gradebook (3) as Category Type.
  • Select the checkmark Allow Teacher to Link GradeBooks and/or Allow Teachers to Link Assessments (4) if you want teachers to be able to add gradebooks and/or particular assessments in addition to those you select.
  • Once changes are applied, also select Save at the top.

When selecting this Weight Category, it is important to know and understand:

  • This is the most commonly used option if using Illuminate Gradebooks with the "Allow Teachers to Link Gradebooks" option selected
  • Teachers will then use Data Links to have data automatically "know where to go" if assignments are connected to standards and manually be told where to go for any other fields
  • If you are adding multiple categories, remember the sum of your category weights must equal 100%. If the sum is not 100%, you will receive an error message and will not be able to save your work.
Add Standards for Percentage Based or Points Based

If the field is to calculate and populate data of specific standards within a Gradebook, do the following:

  • Enter the Category Name (1), typically to describe what the category entails
  • Enter the Weight (2) that represents the percentage these assessment will contribute to the final mark.
  • Select Standards (3) as Category Type.
  • Select the checkmark Allow Teacher to Link GradeBooks (4) and/or Allow Teachers to Link Assessments (5) if you want teachers to be able to add gradebooks and/or assessments in addition to those you select. Best practice is to Allow Teacher to Link Gradebooks, since assessment scores can be linked as a Gradebook assignment
  • Not required, but optional, is to select specific Assessments (6) that standards are generating data from. Best Practice is to have teachers link assessments to gradebook as opposed to linking assessments manually here.
  • It is required to select and click on green plus icon to add Standards (7) that you want to include as part of the final mark. Search and select all standards that Teachers could be linking assignments to for a final mark. If used across various grade levels, select all standards for all grade levels that apply.
  • The default Aggregate Calculation (8) is Average.
  • Once changes are applied, also select Save at the top.

When selecting this Weight Category, it is important to know and understand:

  • The report card builder must have access to assessments that need to be linked
  • For the assessments selected, the calculation will include the total number of points earned across the selected standards out of the total number of points possible across the selected assessments and standards
  • If you are adding multiple categories, remember the sum of your category weights must equal 100%. If the sum is not 100%, you will receive an error message and will not be able to save your work.
  • Teachers will then use Data Links to have data automatically "know where to go" if assignments within the gradebook are connected to standards.
  • Example above shows the possibility of using available options, but is not required to use all components
Add Standards for Rubric or Standards Based
Add Standards for Rubric or Standards Based

If the field is to calculate and populate data of specific standards within a Gradebook, do the following:

  • Category Type defaults to Standard (1)
  • Select the checkmark Allow Teacher to Link GradeBooks (2) and/or Allow Teachers to Link Assessments (3) if you want teachers to be able to add gradebooks and/or assessments in addition to those you select. Best practice is to Allow Teacher to Link Gradebooks, since assessment scores can be linked as a Gradebook assignment
  • Not required, but optional, is to select specific Assessments (4) that standards are generating data from
  • Required, select the green plus icon to add Standards (5) that you want to include as part of the final mark. Search and select all standards that Teachers could be linking assignments to for a final mark. If used across various grade levels, select all standards for all grade levels that apply.
  • Select an Aggregate Calculation (6) that matches that of current standards based gradebook practices. This calculation if chosen differently than a teacher's gradebook, will provide a different score if a different calculation is selected.
  • Once changes are applied, also select Save at the top.

When selecting this Weight Category, it is important to know and understand:

  • The report card builder must have access to assessments that need to be linked
  • For the assessments selected, the calculation will follow the assigned calculations earned across the selected standards
  • Weighted Categories are not an option as part of best practice for Standards Based grading
  • Teachers will then use Data Links to have data automatically "know where to go" when assignments are connected to standards

For more information, visit ADMIN Setup Standards Based Gradebooks in Report Cards.

Entry View
Entry View

Users will see a drop down with the assigned value scale. Marked with an * is the default value from the Gradebook or Assessment.

Assessment Field
Assessment Field

Select Assessment Field for an area that needs data from a specific item within an assessment. For example, this will allow the opportunity for a rubric score or value from a manual assessment that was a performance task or writing assessment, to display on the report card.

If this field type is chose, do the following:

  • Select the Value Scale (1)
  • Select the Assessment (2) the value or score is housed in
  • Choose the appropriate Field (3) or item to populate on the report card
  • Select the Aggregate Calculation (4) which will most often if not always, be Average

Best Practice Field Options recommended for this field type are the following:

  • Show on Entry Screen, so users can see the value coming from the assessment

Entry View

Entry View

Based on the value scale and assessment field information, a drop down will be provided. The default value will be marked with an * when coming directly from the specified assessment.

Editing or Changing Fields

Editing or Changing Fields

When editing and revising fields, most areas can be changed at any time such as:

  • Field Name
  • Options such as Required, Show on Entry Screen, Overwritable By Teachers, Default Value to Previous Grading Period, Allow Printing of Current Value Only, Value Scale and Category Weight Aggregation Algorithm.
  • Category Name, if using categories
  • Selected Assessments, Question Groups, or Standards that make up the category
  • Selected settings for linking to the category

Settings that cannot be changed in a field once it has been created are the following:

  • Field Type (1) cannot be changed. if a new field type is needed, create a new field. Delete the incorrect one.
  • Category Type (2) cannot be changed. If a new category type is needed, remove the old category and add a new one.

Keep in mind, any fields removed or deleted and have been placed on the Report Card layout, will need to be remapped. In addition if data has been previously entered and the field has been removed or deleted, data entered will be erased and removed from the report card.

Next Steps

Now that you have revisited the various field types, go back and continue creating your Field Groups and Fields!

When finished, you are ready to start Mapping and Laying out the Report Card!