Interactivity, Learning, and Creativity: From Interaction to Co-Action in Higher Education

Sune Vork Steffensen*, Sarah Bro Trasmundi, Helle Høgh, Marlene Ventzel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


The chapter by Steffensen and colleagues is an empirically based theoretical contribution to the fields of interactivity, embodied cognition, and interaction studies. It takes a starting point in an ecological view, according to which cognition is traced to the coordinative dynamics in human organism-environment systems. The chapter takes as its starting point the understanding of interactivity as sense-saturated coordination in human organism-environment systems, and hence as the basis of such theory-laden distinctions between interaction, cognition, and learning. Further, it exemplifies how the study of interactivity can be pursued by using the method of Cognitive Event Analysis. The chapter also analyses an example from an informal learning context in which two participants co-act to develop a data structure for a web application. The chapter starts with a discussion of the cognitive models embedded in current thinking on learning and higher education. It then gives a historical introduction to the concept of interactivity in Human-Computer Interaction, cognitive psychology, and dynamical systems theory, before the theoretical position advanced in this article is presented. After a short interlude, in which the method of Cognitive Event Analysis is presented, the authors provide a detailed analysis of how the two participants in the distributed cognitive system identify a specific problem in the data structure (the need for user identification) and reach a decision on how to handle it. The dynamics of the cognitive trajectory are traced to embodied resources, including the timing of gesture and speech and misunderstandings in reference.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLearning as Interactivity, Movement, Growth and Becoming : Ecologies of Learning in Higher Education
EditorsMark E. King, Paul J. Thibault
Place of PublicationLondon
Publication date2024
ISBN (Print)9780367707965
ISBN (Electronic)9781000885484
Publication statusPublished - 2024


Dive into the research topics of 'Interactivity, Learning, and Creativity: From Interaction to Co-Action in Higher Education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this