2014 marks the centennial year of the beginning of World War 1. The war began in the Balkans, but it soon spread to become a European conflict, and developed into a world war.
It was a war of unprecedented scale and brutality, with countless casualties. It also left a poisonous legacy for the 20th century and beyond, and many of the issues that were left unresolved in 1918 would lead to another world war in 1939. 1914-1918 was a period in history that has proved provocative and culturally resonant for the last hundred years.
On this free online course, you will study the subject of physical and mental trauma, its treatments and its representation. You will focus not only on the trauma experienced by combatants but also the effects of World War 1 on civilian populations.
Over three weeks, you will discover just how devastating the effects of World War 1 were in terms of casualties across the many combatant nations, and look in depth at the problem of “shell shock” and how deeply it affected the lives of those who lived through it. You will also develop the skills to carry out your own independent research.
The war was not only experienced on the battlefield, however, and you’ll explore the many and varied ways in which civilians’ lives were affected by it. For example, in the way combatant casualties affected the lives of loved ones who were left behind.
Finally, you will look at how the trauma of World War 1 has been depicted in art and literature, and see what has been learned from the past in the modern day treatment of combat stress reactions and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
MOOCs stand for Massive Open Online Courses. These arefree online courses from universities around the world (eg. StanfordHarvardMIT) offered to anyone with an internet connection.
How do I register?
To register for a course, click on "Go to Class" button on the course page. This will take you to the providers website where you can register for the course.
How do these MOOCs or free online courses work?
MOOCs are designed for an online audience, teaching primarily through short (5-20 min.) pre recorded video lectures, that you watch on weekly schedule when convenient for you. They also have student discussion forums, homework/assignments, and online quizzes or exams.
Alatheacompleted this course, spending 5 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
I spent longer on the course each week than the estimated time because course content lead me to follow up with additional research/viewing of my own. A very thought-provoking course with information about unfamiliar aspects of WW1. However, I had expected something about the way in which memory of WW1 changed over time (and in different countries), and this I did not find in the course.
The only criticism I have of this course is that at just three weeks long, I would have liked more. The content itself was interesting, informative and t challenged my preconceptions and thinking on a number of occasions. I found that the use of video/audio presentations helped my understanding considerably as did the suggested links that were provided to extend my studies.