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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.

Course Requirements

This course will not require you to have previous experience in any particular area but you should have a high school reading level. No books will be required.

Course Goals


This course will examine the actions preceding the Great War, as well as the major events and battles of the confrontation itself, and the political and emotional consequences for the major powers following the war.  Each lesson will examine a specific aspect or historical period of the conflict, concluding with a number of test questions for the purposes of retention and review.  Throughout each lesson, where possible, extra information or alternate views of the events will be presented in sidebars to give the student a broader perspective of the entire ordeal and to maintain fairness to all sides involved.  All battles are presented in chronological order.


Students will learn:

·         WW1 terminology

·         National powers involved in World War I.

·         Contributing factors that lead up to World War I.

·         Battle conditions as well as the new technologies implemented in the First World War.

·         Major battles on the Western Front.

·         Battles on the Eastern and Italian Fronts.

·         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.

·         The outcomes of the war.

·         The prominent Central Powers personalities during World War I.

·         Notable figures that fought for the Triple Entente of England, France, and Russia.

·         Notable figures for the Associated Powers.

Course Materials

All course material will be provided in the lessons and netlinks. There are no required materials to purchase before taking the class.

Grading Policy

Each lesson will include a lesson review quiz along with an assignment. Students will successfully complete this course by mastering all learning outcomes with 70% or higher overall grade.

Course Topics

·         Lesson 1: Terminology & Structure

·         Lesson 2: The Path to World War

·         Lesson 3: Important Events before the Great War

·         Lesson 4: 1914--The War Begins

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

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

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

·         Lesson 8: The Conclusion and Aftermath of the War

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

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

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

·         Final Review

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.

Assessment Guide

Assessment Points
Franco-Prussian War20
Lesson 1 Assignment25
Lesson 1 Exam17
France and Germany Prior to WWI25
Lesson 2 Assignment25
Lesson 2 Exam15
Lesson 3 Assignment25
The Ottoman Empire20
Lesson 3 Exam16
America Prior to 191420
Lesson 4 Assignment25
Lesson 4 Exam19
Lesson 5 Assignment25
Lesson 5 Exam14
Lesson 6 Assignment25
The Battle of Asiago20
Lesson 6 Exam12
Lesson 7 Assignment25
Third Battle of Gaza20
Lesson 7 Exam20
Lesson 8 Assignment25
The Russian Revolution20
Was it worth it?25
Lesson 8 Exam20
Lesson 9 Assignment25
Lesson 9 Exam19
Lesson 10 Assignment25
Lesson 10 Exam14
Lesson 11 Assignment25
Lesson 11 Exam13
Could World War I have been avoided?25
Final Exam35
Total Points:689

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