Student fields using either Export Pulldown menus, or Coded Pulldown menus are powerful tools that provide different access to your data. Here’s some GREAT information from Matt Boytim, one of the few Centre/SIS “parents”.

Export pulldowns and coded pulldowns both take 2 values per line in the setup separated by a | character.  The first value is always stored in the database.  In the case of coded pd the second value is the display value, and in the case of export pd the second value is the export value.

Gender as CODED pd:
Setup options:
  • M|Male
  • F|Female
‘M’ & ‘F’ are stored in the database, ‘Male’ & ‘Female’ are displayed.  By default (I believe) the ‘M’ and ‘F’ will be exported (when you download a
list) but this can be overridden in Users/MyPreferences/StudentListing_tab.
Gender as EXPORT pd:
Setup options:
  • Male|M
  • Female|F
‘Male’ & ‘Female’ are stored in the database and are displayed.  By default ‘M’ and ‘F’ will exported but this can be overridden.
These pulldowns just allow a mapping between what is actually stored in the database vs. what you get when you do a download (export).  You can think of the mapping as being established either when you -input- the data or -output- the data so in this sense export and coded pd’s are duals of each other.
When we do state reports they want ‘codes’ for things like ‘ethnicity’ but I don’t really want to use like 1,2,3,4,5 in our data because then when I look at the data I’d see 1,2,3,4,5 and I’d rather see ‘White’,’Black’,etc so I translate the data on -output- (that is, we use an export pd for ethnicity).
For ‘gender’ though I’d rather have ‘M’,’F’ in the database and display these as ‘Male’,’Female’ or ‘Boy’,’Girl’ so I translate these on -input- (that is, we use a coded pd for gender).
Note the Centre/SIS code actually supports Gender as a regular pulldown, a coded pulldown, or an export pulldown (it checks the type in searches, etc).  This allows you to convert gender to coded or export and it will still work.
Let us know if this helps, ok?

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