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Interactivity ( [ɪntɐʔaktiviˈtɛːt] , Latin inter 'between' and agere 'drive, operate' ) generally indicates a correlation between two or more arbitrary quantities, in which information is implicitly exchanged. The sociological concept of interactivity is based on people who can perceive one another and who align their behavior with one another, while information technology refers to the relationship between humans and computers.

Areas of application of the term

Interaction is multidiscursive; There are different views in the various disciplines as to what is understood by the term. In sociology one speaks only of interaction and not of interactivity, in communication science and computer science, however, the terms interaction and interactivity are used synonymously.

While interaction in sociology and social psychology describes the mutual relationship between two or more people with the aim of communication or discussion, in computer science it describes the relationship between humans and machines, in communication science it describes the relationship between text and reader and also mutual human Relationships and communication through the media.

When designing multimedia learning programs, interactivity describes the properties of the software that enable the user to intervene in various ways and control them. The interactivity is intended to enable more individualized learning , because the selection and the type of presentation of information can be adapted to the prior knowledge, interests and needs of the learner or can be manipulated by them.

Strzebkowski divides interactivity into learning environment activities, navigation and dialogue functions, activities in the presentation of information, editing functions for the presented content and editing options for the database. Strzebkowski / Kleeberg then group these for learning software only under control interactions and didactic interactions. Control interactions include those actions that, in the narrower sense, serve to control the computer and software. Didactic interactions, on the other hand, are much more complex and serve to achieve learning goals.

In particular, in learning opportunities that are based on constructivist learning theories , a high priority is given to interactivity. Ultimately, the aim of such learning opportunities is to encourage the learner to be active and be constructive.

In the field of social sciences , one speaks of interactivity only when two individuals are in contact with one another and mutually influence one another in their mutual actions. Interactivity can take place between people directly or through media such as telephone , email or chat . So it's about the interaction of actions of different people . In the social sciences, one speaks of interactions when it comes to reciprocal actions.

In contrast to this, it is quite common in the field of computer technology to speak of interactivity even when a person “interacts” with a computer . In this case, mutual reference is considered. However, both the person and the computer must have different options available. An exclusive provision of information, for example on a website, would not be referred to as interactive or interaction. Interaction always describes the relationship between man and machine, but not communication between two people using a machine, as is the case, for example, when chatting.

Leggewie and Bieber describe interactivity as the key word in the new information and communication technologies. Interactivity on the Internet distinguishes it from single-channel broadcast media. The most outstanding feature is the return channel capability . It is a technical feature that enables simple and continuous role reversal between senders and receivers. Individuals can thus steer and control the course of a communicative act. You can actively question the meaning content by posting a comment or actively changing it (as with wikis ). This characteristic distinguishes the Internet as an interactive medium from television . It must be emphasized that media reception has never been just the reception of information, because television content triggers an internal process of interpretation in the recipient, without which an understanding of the content cannot be assumed. The recipient of single-channel broadcast media, however, cannot answer the television directly. In the case of interactive television , too , selection and participation are linked to a relatively rigid menu. So there are different qualities of interactivity. See also: Origin of the term interpassivity .

Classification of interactivity

Taxonomy of interactivity

The taxonomy according to Schulmeister (2001) differentiates between the following levels of interactivity:

  • Level 1: viewing and receiving objects
  • Level 2: View and receive multiple representations
  • Level 3: The forms of representation vary
  • Stage 4: Modify the content of the component
  • Stage 5: Construct the object or the content of the representation
  • Level 6: Construct the object or content of the representation and receive intelligent feedback from the system through manipulative actions

Starting with the observation and perception of objects (level 1) to the construction of content and intelligent feedback (level 6), interactivity can be represented in a differentiated manner.

Multi-dimensional model of interactivity

Multi-dimensional interactivity model

In the multidimensional model of interactivity according to Kollmann and Schschuhe (2015), the primary requirement for a subject is to cope with the respective interaction through a certain cognitive performance. From the perspective of a subject, the interaction is geared towards a goal (T) that, with increasing complexity, can take place with a scheme, with a model or with interfaces of reality. The cognitive performance for coping with the interaction between subject and goal is structured by the integrated learning goal taxonomy (the dimension of knowledge and the dimension of the cognitive process) according to Anderson and Krathwohl (2001). The order, which runs synchronously on the lowest level, but can also be arranged asynchronously with increasing complexity, is of particular importance for interactivity. In summary, an interaction can be described by the source of interactivity (S), the goal of interactivity (T), the knowledge dimension (D), the process dimension (P) and the order of interactivity (O).

See also


  • Christoph Bieber , Claus Leggewie (ed.): Interactivity. A transdisciplinary key term. Campus Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, 2004, ISBN 3-593-37603-2 .
  • Jens F. Jensen: Interactivity. Tracking a New Concept in Media and Communication Studies. In: Ulla Carlsson (Ed.): Nordicom Review. 19, No. 1, April 28, 1998 ISSN  2001-5119 , pp. 185-204 (PDF, ).
  • F. Kollmann, M. Shoes: Feedback on the learning progress of the students during the lecture. In: M. Ebner (ed.); M. Kopp, B. Schlass, S. Seufert: E-learning strategies for university teaching . Journal for University Development , Graz 2015, ISSN  2219-6994 , pp. 19–38.
  • Jürg Nievergelt, Andrea Ventura: The design of interactive programs. BG Teubner, Stuttgart 1983, ISBN 3-519-02509-4 .
  • Ulrich Riehm, Bernd Wingert: Multimedia. Myths, opportunities and challenges. Bollmann, Mannheim 1995, ISBN 3-927901-69-5 .
  • Rolf Schulmeister: Taxonomy of the interactivity of multimedia - A contribution to the current metadata discussion. (Taxonomy of Interactivity in Multimedia - A Contribution to the Acutal Metadata Discussion) In: it + ti. Volume 44, Issue 4, 2002, pp. 193-199, ISSN  2196-7032 , doi: 10.1524 / itit.2002.44.4.193 (PDF, ).
  • Robert Strzebkowski: Realization of interactivity and multimedia presentation techniques. In: Ludwig J. Issing, Paul Klimsa (Hrsg.): Information and learning with multimedia. Psychologie Verlag Union, Weinheim 1995, ISBN 3-621-27449-9 , pp. 269-303.
  • Robert Strzebkowski, Nicole Kleeberg: Interactivity and presentation as components of multimedia learning applications. In: Ludwig J. Issing, Paul Klimsa (Ed.): Information and learning with multimedia and the Internet. 3rd, completely revised edition. Psychologie Verlag Union, Weinheim 2002, ISBN 3-621-27449-9 , pp. 229–246.
  • Roland Burkart : Communication Science. Böhlau, 2002, pp. 30 ff., 375 ff.
  • Tamara Zeyer, Sebastian Stuhlmann, Roger Dale Jones (Eds.): Interactivity in foreign language teaching and learning with digital media. Hit or Hype? Narr Verlag, Tübingen, 2016, ISBN 978-3-8233-8042-9 .
  • Christoph Neuberger: interactivity, interaction, internet . In: Journalism . tape 52 , issue 1, March 2007, ISSN  1862-2569 , p. 33-50 , doi : 10.1007 / s11616-007-0004-3 ( [PDF]).

Web links

Wiktionary: Interactivity  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Jens F. Jensen: Interactivity. Tracking a New Concept in Media and Communication Studies. 1998, p. 190.
  2. Christoph Bieber , Claus Leggewie (Ed.): Interactivity. A transdisciplinary key term. Campus Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2004, pp. 98–99.
  3. Christoph Bieber, Claus Leggewie (Ed.): Interactivity. A transdisciplinary key term. Campus Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 2004, pp. 7–9.