Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning

2012 Edition
| Editors: Norbert M. Seel

Interactivity in Multimedia Learning

  • Jan L. Plass
  • Ruth N. Schwartz
  • Steffi Heidig(née Domagk)
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1428-6_1848



The literature on multimedia learning offers a number of definitions of interactivity, each emphasizing different aspects of the concept. This inconsistency is due in part to the fact that the term interactivity is used in a broad range of fields, including advertising, the arts, information systems, communication, marketing, and educational psychology. Across these fields, three main approaches can be distinguished: (1) interaction in human communication, stemming from a sociological tradition, (2) computer-mediated human communication, originating in mass communication approaches, and (3) human–computer interaction, derived from computer science but also applied in the field of educational technology and the learning sciences.

Definitions from these different perspectives agree that interactivity requires two fundamental conditions: (1) at least two participants must...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Consortium for Research and Evaluation of Advanced Technologies in Education (CREATE)New York UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Learning and Interactive Media, Department of EducationUniversity of ErfurtErfurtGermany