This study aimed to investigate the differences in learners' emotion, cognitive load, and cognitive performance among various scaffolding DGBLs, and the influences of emotion and cognitive load on cognitive performance when using DGBLs. Participants were 97 adult learners from some community college, randomly divided into the control group with 32 participants using non-scaffolding DGBL, the experimental group I with 34 participants using hard scaffolding DGBL, and the experimental group II with 31 participants using soft scaffolding DGBL. Results revealed: 1. positive emotion, germane cognitive load, and cognitive effectiveness and efficiency in scaffolding DGBL were significantly higher than those in non-scaffolding DGBL; negative emotion and extraneous cognitive load were significantly lower than those in non-scaffolding DGBL; 2. positive emotion in soft scaffolding DGBL was better than that in hard scaffolding DGBL, whereas there were no significant differences in negative emotion between both scaffolding DGBLs; 3. taking soft and hard scaffolding DGBLs together, positive emotion and germane cognitive load positively influenced cognitive effectiveness or efficiency; negative emotion, and intrinsic and extraneous cognitive load negatively influenced cognitive effectiveness or efficiency. Practical and theoretical suggestions were raised as references for researchers and teachers.
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