The online environment continues to grow resulting in institutions and instructors searching for ways to determine and ensure quality in these courses. Not only are online courses as effective as onsite courses (see Allen, Bourhis, Burrell, & Mabry, 2002; Allen, Mabry, Mattrey, Bourhis, Titsworth, & Burrell, 2004), the demand in these course offerings continues to grow as students require more flexibility in where and when they learn due to work, family, and other obligations. Allen and Seaman (2015) reported that “enrollments continue to grow at a healthy rate, showing a 7% increase overall between fall 2012 and fall 2014” (p. 13). With increasing demand for online courses and the evidence that online and face-to-face courses are comparative in quality, research efforts re-focus on understanding how to best prepare students for online learning, design online courses, and deliver instruction online to positively influence student outcomes, in particular student learning. A series of cross-institutional studies were conducted at the National Research Center for Distance Education and Technological Advancements (DETA) to examine learner and instructional characteristics and their relationship to student outcomes in online courses. The keynote session will highlight the top indicators that emerged from the mixed methods studies to help inform the practice of learner support, course design, and instruction.