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Motivate, Engage, and Empower Students in General Education Course Through Digital-Collaborative Learning

Along with the rationale underlying the course, this article presents the evolving digital collaborative practices in IAH209 Horror Cinema, a hybrid general education course offered through the Center for Integrative Studies in the Arts and Humanities at Michigan State University. The course has changed after more than a decade of development and revision, from a fairly traditional, teacher-centered format with limited student-student interaction to one that is student and teamwork-centered through weekly teacher-student and student-student collaboration. Various digital and cloud-based tools have become central to course activities. That gradual and ongoing shift increasingly facilitates deeper student learning about the specific horror films that comprise the course and how viewers might understand the genre as a possible reflection of social issues regarding privilege, inequity, oppression, and justice.  The approach paves the way for students to use popular entertainment to access and reflect on real-world situations and consider how we might better address those same concerns by concluding their work in the course. Equally significant, a digital collaborative approach to teaching and learning, like the methodology described for IAH209 Horror Cinema, enables learners to cultivate many nextgeneration competencies directly transferable to professional careers in the 21st century.  The fusion of digital and collaborative skills practiced in IAH209 Horror Cinema thus equips learners for a more seamless transition to the professional world and a longer working life after graduation.