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The design of quality online courses is a team task, as this process requires multiple areas of expertise that are not typically possessed by a single individual. Yet, existing models of stakeholder partnerships in online learning design, and their nature, has yet to be explored in depth. This study was designed to address this gap. Using the PRISMA guidance, twenty-one articles that documented the experience of teamwork in designing online courses or programmes were analysed. For each study, a reported partnership model, stakeholders involved in the teamwork, and barriers to their communication were considered. Six partnership models in online learning design were identified: mentoring and guidance; equal collaboration; technical or formal support; multisectoral collaboration; focus on relationship building; and an iterative or flexible approach. Key barriers to establishing successful partnerships include poor knowledge of the design process, lack of financial incentives, no adequate regulation of the design process, insufficient project planning and management, time constraints and required time commitments, increased workload, and psychological barriers.
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