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Photo graph of ANZAC cover in Gallipoli, Turkey.

Getting the most out of this course

In World War 1: A History in 100 Stories, we don’t assume you have had any prior experience of studying history before.

Throughout each week we will ask you to complete learning activities that will help you to apply the course content to your own context, and share your ideas with other learners.

Short quizzes are included in the course to give you an opportunity to check your understanding of the course material. In many sections of the course we’ll provide additional learning material as external links or downloads. Please make use of these as well.

Introducing the course team

Professor Bruce Scates

Bruce Scates holds the Chair of History and Australian Studies at Monash University and a Fellow of the Australian Academy for the Social Sciences. He is the author and co-author of many studies of the Great War including prize winning histories and a novel. Professor Scates has been awarded University, State and National Awards for excellence in teaching and is a frequent contributor to both popular and academic debates about the memory of the Great War.

Margaret Harris

This course features mentoring by Margaret Harris. Margaret will support you as you make your way through the course, directing discussions and providing additional information to help make your learning experience the best it can be.

So you don’t miss any comments or feedback, we strongly recommend that you follow Margaret.

Follow Margaret

Content advisory

These stories highlights the cost of war to combatants and noncombatants alike. Some viewers might find some material confronting.

Participating in the course

Courses such as this one attract thousands of participants, which means it is not possible for us to provide individual help in most cases. But the big advantage is that learners can help each other. So if you know the answer to a question being asked, don’t be shy. Post an answer. If you find an answer or comment helpful, please ‘like’ it, so the best answers can be found more easily by others (filter by ‘most liked’).

You can participate in this course entirely within FutureLearn, but throughout the course you will have opportunities to enhance your experience by including elements from external web services such as Flickr. You can learn more about creating accounts with these external services by working through the Social media tips and tools page in the FAQ of FutureLearn.

The importance of discussion and debate

Learning history is all about sharing information and perspectives, and debating ideas. World War 1 remains a contentious subject even as we commemorate its Centenary. The stories we will explore in this course have been chosen to illustrate some of the more confronting aspects of war, and we are excited to hear your thoughts on them. In this type of online course, the more actively you share your ideas and join in the discussions the more you will get out of this course. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Please respect copyright laws if you are posting material in this course. Please do not post or link to material in the comments or discussions that breaks copyright.

Your time commitment

You will need to allocate a minimum of four hours per week for five weeks to complete this course. This doesn’t have to be four hours in a single block, but you will find it easier to learn, if you can set aside a regular time to study and focus on the course without distraction. It’s likely you’ll spend more than fours hours per week if you work through the course material and continue to explore additional links and files that have been provided.

Course assignment: An Epitaph for a Story

The course contains a short course assignment, entitled Epitaph for a Story, and due in Week 4. The assignment gives you the opportunity to draw together key themes you will consider in this course. After submitting your answer, it will be reviewed by another learner who will give you feedback on your work. You will also be asked to review an assignment submitted by another learner.

Assignment brief

Epitaphs on Australian headstones were limited to just 66 characters, including the spaces between words. We would like you to choose one of the Stories presented in the course, and write an epitaph for the individual concerned. Your epitaph cannot be longer than 66 characters, including spaces.

In addition to the epitaph itself, we would like you to write two paragraphs explaining the thinking behind your words. Why did you choose the story? How did you choose what to include in the epitaph, and what to leave out?

Even though the assignment is due in Week 4, we recommend that you start thinking about it before then. We’ll give you regular reminders throughout the course. Go to Course assignment: Epitaph for a Story to learn more about what you need to do and how you can complete this assignment. You can then return to this step.

Learning online

Are you new to learning online or would just like to learn more about how you can better manage your time online? Go to Learning Online: Reflection, Engagement and Motivation (LOREM) website produced by the Monash University Library for a detailed resource that addresses topics such as staying motivated and managing your time.

Talking point

In the Comments, take a moment to introduce yourself. Tell other learners about who you are and where you’re from. Also consider reading and commenting on contributions made by other learners or following learners with similar interests as you.

To access all the comments on a particular step, select the pink speech bubble icon and all comments made on this step will be displayed.

Pre-course survey

We’d also be grateful if you could complete the pre-course survey to help us understand more about who’s taking the course and what we can do to improve it.


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This article is from the free online course:

World War 1: A History in 100 Stories

Monash University

Course highlights Get a taste of this course before you join: