No concept so characterizes educational thinking in the 1990s as does interactivity. It is intertwined with the growth of several other areas of educational concern: open and distance learning, student-centred learning and holistic education. So embedded in the spirit of the age is it that there is relatively little questioning of its value, much less evaluation of its effects. Teachers are said to require it in order to know whether they are communicating effectively; students are supposed to need it to clarify any misunderstandings; distance education is thought to be enlivened and depackaged by interaction. What is meant by the term and why is it considered such a good thing?