Teaching Islamic Civilization with Information Technology
By Corinne Blake
Journal for MultiMedia History, Vol.1 (1998)
Introduction: New types of information technology such as the Internet and CD-ROM can be used to enhance courses in colleges and universities. A large amount of primary material about Islam and Islamic civilizations, for example, is available to students through the Internet, including full texts of the Qur’an in various translations, several collections of Hadith (records of the Prophet Muhammad’s words and deeds), Shi`i and Sufi religious texts, and classics works of Islamic literature. Since this material is mostly translated, it is of limited interest to advanced graduate students, but it is appropriate for undergraduate courses on Islamic religion, history, and civilization as well as for survey courses in world history. Using material from the Internet provides students with access to primary sources and research material that is often unavailable at smaller institutions. It can also expose students to different points of view within the Muslim community. The challenge for already overextended professors is figuring out how to locate these materials and incorporate them into courses. After reviewing primary source material for teaching Islamic civilization that is available online, I’ll discuss methods and issues related to incorporating Internet material into courses.