This study investigated and compared the effectiveness of both digital game-based learning (DGBL) and static e-learning material for Newton’s laws of motion on students’ learning attention, affective experiences, cognitive load and academic achievement. Physiological signals and affective techniques were adopted to measure students’ learning affective states and cognitive load. After learning, a post-test was then conducted to discover the differences in academic achievement between DGBL and static e-learning. The results showed that the DGBL group displayed greater variance in positive emotion and attention than the traditional e-learning group during the learning process, as well as a greater cognitive load. Based on the timeline measurement of attention and positive emotion patterns in the DGBL and e-learning groups, the largest gap in both attention and positive emotion patterns was found when the DGBL group members were about to finish playing the game. The findings of this study revealed that emotional well-being and increased attention are the key advantages that DGBL learning provides when compared with traditional e-learning approaches.
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