When it comes to effectively teaching technology, we focus on three areas of content: Vocabulary, Concepts and Procedures. The idea of this so-called “VCP Inventory” was introduced by Elliott Masie in his Computer Training Handbook: “Strategies for Helping People to Learn Technology”. In addition to coining the term ‘e-learning,’ Masie is also a producer of Broadway hits such as Kinky boots and Sponge Bob Square Pants, but that's a topic for another post.
At ZyLAB, we embrace this practice of reviewing the vocabulary, concepts and procedures involved with our rapidly advancing software in order to ensure that you have the proper foundation to be successful with ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery. The release of our latest version of ZYLAB ONE eDiscovery's Assisted Review provided the perfect opportunity for us to conduct another VCP inventory as we updated training content, so I decided to share some thoughts on this exercise.
In any field, but particularly technology, jargon (and acronyms!) surround us. People in the eDiscovery world will loosely use terms like Artificial Intelligence, Predictive Coding, Machine Learning and Technology Assisted Review, sometimes without a proper understanding of what these terms actually mean, or knowing if there is any difference at all.
It is important that we define critical vocabulary, so we can share a common language. Some words, such as “precision” and “recall,” may be familiar from our daily language, but we must be clear what these terms mean in the context of TAR so you can understand how they relate to the quality of your classification results. Another simple example, you may well understand the word “issue,” but if you are using ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery’s Technology Assisted Review, you need to know that you create a new “issue” before you begin training the system. Certainly, there are intimidating acronyms like SVM (Support Vector Machines) and TF-IDF (Term Frequency-Inverse Document Frequency), but I will get to those later.
Memorizing acronyms or peppering conversations with buzzwords you picked up off of a conference session title or vendor's marketing materials doesn't get you very far if you don't actually understand the concepts behind them. Knowing the principles behind the technology, or even just the “why?” will help tremendously in your understanding of ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery, and building confidence that you are using the system to get the best results. If we at ZyLAB don’t explain the thought process behind our great features, you may miss out on being able to take advantage of them. For example, if you want to be able to identify and discover topic and concept clusters automatically, you need to understand the ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery Topic Model. Similarly, if you want ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery Assisted Review to automatically classify millions of documents (so you don’t have to), you need to understand that you must first train the system.
Once you can properly talk the talk (and understand the meaning behind it), you need to know how to walk the walk. How do you actually click through the steps? Our easy-to-use, intuitive interface makes taking command of ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery simple, but the in-application help and online videos available to our community are readily available for you for reference and review. (This also takes the pressure off if you attend an instructor-led, hands-on class—don’t worry about memorizing the steps you learn in class, you can always look them up later!) We will teach you the simple steps necessary to start a training cycle, so ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery can begin doing more of the grunt work for you. We will even teach you how to create a new issue from the topic model with a single click! We will guide you through the workflow, and get you to the oh-so-satisfying moment when you can click “Classify Remaining” and let ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery do the rest.
One of the best reasons to conduct a VCP Inventory is to remind ourselves that all three areas of content are critical for learning. Have you ever attended a training course or read an instructor only focused only on procedures? The instructor was so proud to show every menu and sequence of clicks as learners struggled to follow along, having no idea what the actual purpose was. Or have you ever read a manual or user guide which was filled with terms and acronyms you didn't fully understand, and that were never explained, and as a result bewildered and frustrated? We need to address all three areas--vocabulary, concepts and procedures--in order to create a successful learning experience. Personally, I have to confess that I have a strong bias towards emphasizing concepts in training. I believe that once you fully grasp and understand a concept, it stays with you. We’ve all had that experience of forgetting what an acronym stands for, or remembering under which menu an option is hiding, but those are easy to look up or refresh your memory.
But that’s not all, there’s more! Another benefit of performing a VCP Inventory when developing training content? Prioritization of topics. Deciding which items should be included, and –just as important—which topics should be excluded. Or saved for a separate training video. Yes, Non-Negative Matrix Factorization (NMF) is a term and concept that came up in our VCP inventory, but it is not required for you to know this word in order to successfully use ZyLAB ONE Assisted Review. If you’re an AI geek and want to know more about NMF (or SVM or TF-IDF), you can check out our eBook. The good news is that ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery Assisted Review and it’s advanced, sophisticated and powerful a algorithms and underlying technologies will work for you the same, regardless of your level of understanding. The technology may be complex, but our job is to make sure you know just enough to make it easy and effortless.
ZyLAB Online Training Videos, as well as Instructor-led, hands-on training emphasize vocabulary, concepts and procedures to ensure using all ZyLAB ONE features, including our Assisted Review, is a painless and positive experience. More information on ZyLAB ONE eDiscovery Training and Assisted Review can be found here.