"Thinking Bigger in the Online Learning Space": A profile of Prof. William Simmons

Oct. 30, 2022
Prof Bill Simmons

AZ Online, the hub for online education at the University of Arizona, recently ran this profile of the Director of the Human Rights Practice Program, Prof. William Simmons (pictured at left above working in a refugee camp in Bangladesh).


The Arizona Online graduate students in Professor William Simmons’ classes have one thing in common: An interest in improving human rights. Outside of their studies, however, there are many differences – students are spread across countries and time zones, they have professional and personal obligations, and more.

William Paul Simmons, Ph.D., is a professor of Gender & Women's Studies and the director of the online Human Rights Practice graduate program at the University of Arizona.

Simmons spearheaded the online Human Rights graduate program at the University of Arizona almost five years ago. During this time, Simmons discovered that students don’t have to learn in person in order to grasp what he taught – in fact, the online environment provided even more opportunities for creative teaching.

Simmons has practiced and taught human rights for more than 30 years. Simmons is constantly learning about how best to teach in an online environment, and improving his classes based on the latest research.

Throughout his career, Simmons has been refining problem-based learning pedagogy. This means that students work to solve an open-ended problem and the problem drives the motivation and learning.

To read more, please visit the original article on the AZ Online website