Online education has grown exponentially over the last few decades, churning through a swarm of acronyms, ambiguities and potentialities. Substantial energy has been invested in producing technology, building academic capability, and understanding learners and markets. Though it feels pervasive, online education is comparatively new in the scheme of higher education, and key education and business models remain in formation. To spur advance, this paper argues that as online education matures increasing energy must shift from supplier-centric concerns about provision to instead ensuring learner value and success. We argue that online education presents new opportunities not just for the mechanics of higher education, but for improving each student’s experience and outcomes. Central to such advance is a clear picture of student success, cogent perspectives for understanding students, effective strategies for analysing and interpreting huge volumes of data, and more evidence-based academic leadership. The paper investigates each of these areas, provoking an agenda to guide further student and institutional achievement.