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Online Class: World War I

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Course Description

Unlike anything that had gone before it, the first great conflagration of the twentieth century was to set a precedent for all wars to follow.  Involving nations from around the globe, the world had never seen a military conflict on this scale.  This brutal struggle is known by many names: "the Great War", "The War to End All Wars", "the First World War", and "World War I".  Beginning in 1914 and lasting until 1918, this event would change the face of the world forever.  Fought primarily in Europe, World War I claimed the lives of over nine million people and was one of the most deadly military conflicts in history.

Much more than just an isolated incident in the history of humankind, the developing political climate in Europe had been brewing for a very long period of time. Alliances were formed, wars were fought over disputed territories, and bitter rivalries were established. What resulted was an epic-scale struggle for the domination of a continent and, perhaps, the world itself. For the first time in the history of warfare, aerial combat was used extensively. The trench-style warfare, complete with artillery fire, barbed wire, and chemical weapons, was unlike any conflict ever seen before. The aftermath of this brutal war would resolve little and, ultimately, pave the way for establishment of Nazi Germany and the next World War.

In this course, the major issues and causes of the First World War will be discussed, along with a summary of the major battles, powers, and personalities (both military and political) that shaped the events and ultimate outcome of this epic struggle.  This information should give the student a working understanding of the basic history of the war and how it helped set the stage for the next tragic global conflict.

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  • 6 Months to Complete
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  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

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Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating: (545 votes)
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Lesson 1: Terminology & Structure

In order to understand this course, you must first be familiar with the terminology associated with this conflict. 47 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Review 3 Articles: Quiz Terms Used in WW1; World War I Glossary; WWI American Posters
  • Review Video: Interviews of WWI Trench Survivors
  • Take Poll: Reason for Taking the Class
  • Complete Assignment: Introductions
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Exam

Lesson 2: The Path to World War

This lesson defines the national powers involved in World War I. 40 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Review 4 Articles: Central Powers of WW1; Quiz: Minor Powers of WW1; WWI Causes; WWI Document Archive
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Exam

Lesson 3: Important Events before the Great War

This lesson discusses the contributing factors that lead up to World War I. 41 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Review 3 Articles: Eyewitness Accounts; July 1914; WWI Audio Files
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Exam

Lesson 4: 1914--The War Begins

This lesson discusses battle conditions as well as the new technologies implemented in the First World War. 44 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Review 4 Articles: National World War I Museum; PBS: World War I; The Sinking of the Lusitania; Dwight Eisenhower and Tanks WWI
  • Take Poll: Your Position
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Exam

Lesson 5: Major Battles of the Great War--The Western Front

This lesson will discuss the major battles on the Western Front. 39 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Review 3 Articles: The Christmas Truce; The First Battle of Ypres; Western Front Photos
  • Review Video: Battle of the Somme
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Exam

Lesson 6: Major Battles of the Great War--Eastern and Italian Fronts

This lesson will describe the battles on the Eastern and Italian Fronts. 37 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: The Eastern Front; Theaters of War
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Exam

Lesson 7: Major Battles of the Great War--Beyond Europe

This lesson briefly presents the major battles taking place outside the Western and Eastern Fronts--namely the African, Gallipoli, Mesopotamian, and Palestinian Fronts, as well as the battles on the high seas. 45 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Naval Combat; The Battle of Jutland
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Exam

Lesson 8: The Conclusion and Aftermath of the War

This lesson will briefly summarize the outcomes of the war. 70 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Review Article: WWI in Numbers
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment
  • Complete Assignment: Was it worth it?
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Exam

Lesson 9: Notable Figures of World War I (Central Powers)

This lesson presents the prominent Central Powers personalities during World War I. 44 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Who Killed the Red Baron?; WWI Aces
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Exam

Lesson 10: Notable Figures of World War I (Entente Powers)

This lesson presents the notable figures that fought for the Triple Entente of England, France, and Russia. 39 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Review 3 Articles: Winston Churchill; Lawrence of Arabia; Douglas Haig
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Exam

Lesson 11: Notable Figures of World War I (Associated Powers)

This lesson presents the notable figures for the Associated Powers. 38 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Review 2 Articles: Eddie Rickenbacker; Woodrow Wilson
  • Take Poll: WWI Figures
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Exam

Final Review

This lesson will list the battles of WW1 and present the Final Exam to complete this course on WW1. 60 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video
  • Review Article: Key People and terms for WW1
  • Take Poll: Final Course Poll - Your Opinion
  • Take Survey: Course Comments
  • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Complete Assignment: Could World War I have been avoided?
  • Complete: Final Exam
Total Course Points

Additional Course Information

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Course Title: World War I
Course Number: 7550439
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Course Type: High School Level
CEU Value: 1.1 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: C. Michael McKenna
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Duration: Continuous: Enroll anytime!
Course Fee: $50.00 (no CEU Certification) || with CEU Certification: $75.00

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Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Define World War I terminology.
  • Describe the path to world war.
  • Know important events before the Great War.
  • Describe 1914 and the beginning of the war.
  • Know the major battles of the Great War--The Western Front.
  • Know the major battles of the Great War--Eastern and Italian Fronts.
  • Know the major battles of the Great War--Beyond Europe.
  • Know aftermath of the war.
  • Know notable figures of World War I, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Student Testimonials

  • "[The instructor] had done an excellent job in compiling the information into well-organized lessons that were concise and easy to read. I especially enjoyed completing the assignments, as the topics certainly added to the lessons. This is an enlightening course that I would highly recommend to any one who interested in the battles and results of the First World War. Four stars for the instructor!!" -- Sara H.
  • "The written assignments were the most productive." -- nick V.

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