William Paul Simmons

Professor, Gender and Women's Studies

Director, Human Rights Practice Program

2020 CUES Distinguished Fellow

Bill Simmons

Expanding the Campus and Global Reach of Problem-Based Learning Beyond Borders

I have developed an innovative and much-praised pedagogy branded Problem-Based Learning Beyond Borders (PBL-BB).  It involves engaging students, faculty, and community members in real-world problems raised by community members, especially marginalized communities.  It has served as the backbone of our very successful online graduate program in Human Rights Practice which requires students to complete community-engaged activities in each course, with many courses emphasizing how to work ethically and responsibly with marginalized communities.  My CUES project will further develop this pedagogy and expand its use at UArizona and globally. The project will contribute to scholarship on faculty adoption of innovative pedagogies, connect to other action learning initiatives on campus, and inform the upcoming a new PBL-BB-based BA Degree in Human Rights Practice. This question is also pressing within the framework of the COVID-19 crisis, which has stimulated interest in cutting-edge online pedagogies especially those involving the community. 

Danlei Chen 
Graduate Research Associate, College of Education

Danlei Chen is a PhD student in the Department of Teaching, Learning & Sociocultural Studies at the University of Arizona and a graduate research associate working on the CUES Expanding the Campus and Global Reach of Problem-Based Learning Beyond Borders project. Her work on the project aims to further develop and refine the PBL-BB pedagogy, expand its use globally and on campus, and contribute to scholarship on faculty adoption of innovative pedagogies.