High-Performance Learning Environments


  • Pedro E. Arce Tennessee Technological University
  • Loren B. Schreiber Tennessee Technological University


Whereas traditional classroom instruction relies relies on lectures, modern approaches to learning provide active and collaborative activities that encourage students to assume responsibility for their own learning. These approaches typically exploit three tools-problem solving, communication, and teamwork. High Performance Learning Environments ("HI-PeLE") go even further. They provide opportunities for students to confront nature by adding two more tools-experimental prototypes and industrial contacts. Using all five components, HI-PeLE methodology consistently improves the learning of the students. For example, the environment promotes the development of students with a higher ability to apply theoretical concepts to practical situations, enhances the student creativity to a level not observed in the cases where students are not exposed to the HI-PeLE, and increases the student confidence to solve complex tasks. In summary, HI-PeLE helps to reach better and more efficient independent thinkers and, therefore, enhances the ability to become long-life learners.

Author Biographies

Pedro E. Arce, Tennessee Technological University

Pedro E. Arce is Professor of Chemical Engineering and Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering. His ChE Diploma is from the Universidad Nacional del Litoral (UNL), Santa Fe, Argentina, and his Master of Science and PhD degrees are from Purdue University, both in ChE. He has developed a number of learning tools, all centered in active-collaborative approaches. His research focuses on nano-structured (soft) materials for bioseparation and drug delivery as well as cold plasma high oxidation methods, and electrokinetics.

Loren B. Schreiber, Tennessee Technological University

Loren B. Schreiber is Professor of Chemical Engineering and Director of the UOL in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering. His degrees are from University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, IL, and Caltech (PhD). Before joining FAMU-FSU, Dr. Schreiber was involved extensively in research and development in private industry. His teaching interest involves active and collaborative learning techniques and simulation approaches for distillation processes.