With the use of a custom gender lookup table in Terra Dotta Study Abroad, offices are offered a more inclusive selection of non-binary gender identities from which non-integrated site users can select a value to populate their site's core data field of gender. The Terra Dotta Community Library (TDCL) contains a downloadable table of gender identities that can be used, or offices have the option to create their own customized lookup table.
Keep the following information in mind before you get started:
1 - In order to use a custom gender lookup table on your site, the following features must be enabled:
2 - A lookup table consists of a key (an abbreviation of a value stored in the database and not displayed to applicants or site visitors) and a value (displayed to the applicant and visitors throughout the site). Whether you choose to download Terra Dotta's gender lookup table or create your own, compatibility must be maintained among the following hard-coded keys: M, F, and O. This means you can use any values that you'd like to display. However, the keys of M, F, and O must remain in use for backwards compatibility.
3 - An applicant is only allowed to select one option from the custom gender lookup table. It is not possible for them to select multiple options or trigger a blank data field to appear in which to enter an option that is not on the selection list.
4 - The custom gender lookup table option is provided for non-integrated (external) site users who manually enter parameter values, such as gender (that can be set as required for new users). In most cases, integrated users will continue to have the core parameter of gender populated with values sent via the Student Information System (SIS). For site integrations where gender is not sent from the SIS and integrated users are asked to provide this information themselves in Terra Dotta (i.e. the "Null" gender check is enabled), these users will be asked to select a gender identity using the custom gender lookup table if this option is enabled on your site.
This article discusses the following topics related to the custom gender lookup table:
The set up for using a custom gender lookup table involves the following steps:
- Create or Download a Lookup Table
- Configure Your System Settings
Create or Download a Lookup Table
Terra Dotta has the stock lookup table of "Gender Selection List" available for download from the Terra Dotta Community Library (TDCL) that contains the following gender option values*:
For steps on how to download a lookup table, such as the "Gender Selection List", from the TDCL, see the "Downloading a Lookup Table from the TDCL" section of the Value Lookup Tables article.
After you have downloaded the lookup table to your site, it can be accessed from Settings > Lookup Tables under the name of "Gender Selection List". It is also possible to manually create your own gender lookup table for use with the Custom Gender Lookup feature. For these steps, see the "Creating a Lookup Table Manually" section of the Value Lookup Table article.
Important Note: Keep the following information in mind when creating a custom lookup table:
- The "Value" is what will display throughout any interface where gender is used in your Terra Dotta site. For example, if an applicant selected "Transgender Woman" as their gender identity, then the gender field in their profile would display "Transgender Woman".
- Reporting done via Analytics will always display the "Key" when gender is selected as a data field. For example, if an applicant selected "Transgender Woman" for the field of gender when creating an account - and the site is using Terra Dotta's custom gender lookup table, then any reporting in Analytics would display "TW" for the field of gender for this applicant.
- When creating your own custom lookup table, it is possible to use the same text for both the "Key" and "Value" for most options. For example, you might choose the following format:
- TD Gender Selection List Format (key is abbreviated, value is full text): "TW,Transgender Woman"
- Custom Option (key and value both display full text): "Transgender Woman,Transgender Woman"
- EXCEPTION: Male, Female, and Other must always use the abbreviated keys of M, F, and O for the purposes of backwards compatibility.
- The maximum character length for the display value is 100 characters.
Configuring Your System Settings
After you have the desired gender lookup table on your site, whether it was downloaded from the TDCL or created manually by your office, you will need to tell your site which lookup table to use for the field of gender. To take action, follow these steps.
1 - Navigate to Settings > System Features > Interface Settings.
2 - Locate the configuration for "Gender Options Lookup Table". From the drop-down menu that appears, select your desired lookup table. If you downloaded the custom gender lookup table from the TDCL, this will appear as "Gender Selection List".
3- Click "Update" to preserve your changes.
If your site has enabled the custom gender lookup table and has designated "Gender" as a core data requirement for new users ( under Settings > System Features > Applicants), then new external users will be able to select one of the custom gender lookup table options from the "Required Information" modal when they create an account.
An applicant's selection will populate the "Gender" core data field located in the "Profile" tab of the Applicant Home Page.
If your site has enabled the custom gender lookup table, then an admin will be able to view the "Gender" core data field with an applicant's selection from the following interfaces on your site:
- Application Finder: This feature supports filtering based on a option values in a custom data lookup table when one is available for use.
- Application Admin Manager: "Profile" tab
- Classic Report Wizard & Except Export Options
- Analytics: Supports the "key" of a custom gender lookup table.
- Data Import/Export Utility: Supports the "key" of a custom gender lookup table.
*Citation: Gender Identity & Expression Map. Antonia Clifford. https://prezi.com/embed/yvqu4hrcexig/. Updated March 9, 2018.