Interactive communication is an interesting topic for various research disciplines. This makes the concept a multidisciplinary concept. The increase in interest can be explained in accordance with the introduction of new media (primarily the internet), because these have changed the communicative environments significantly. However, the concept is also interesting because of the continuous debate about its definition, or lack thereof. This article starts with an explication of a discrepancy in usage of the term interactivity and moves from there to introduce a new framework. This framework can be used to make previous and future research of interactive communication better comparable and puts contemporary conceptualizations and operationalizations in a new perspective. Key in this framework is a 3x3 matrix that distinguishes between moment-specific classification and research perspectives. The framework will make similarities and dissimilarities more explicit. As such, it can help ensure that researchers are talking about the same thing where it concerns interactivity.

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A new framework for interactivity
Making research on interactive communication more comparible

Mark J. W. Bos   Department of Science Communication, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences

Cees M. Koolstra   Department of Science Communication, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences

Interactive communication is an interesting topic for various research disciplines. This makes the concept a multidisciplinary concept. The increase in interest can be explained in accordance with the introduction of new media (primarily the internet), because these have changed the communicative environments significantly. However, the concept is also interesting because of the continuous debate about its definition, or lack thereof. This article starts with an explication of a discrepancy in usage of the term interactivity and moves from there to introduce a new framework. This framework can be used to make previous and future research of interactive communication better comparable and puts contemporary conceptualizations and operationalizations in a new perspective. Key in this framework is a 3x3 matrix that distinguishes between moment-specific classification and research perspectives. The framework will make similarities and dissimilarities more explicit. As such, it can help ensure that researchers are talking about the same thing where it concerns interactivity.

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