Democratizing Education — open access or MOOCs?

Think about it. Universities pay their faculty to write and publish, then must pay commercial entities to sell those publications back to them. Universities also pay their faculty to teach, then charge students for access to that pedagogy (in most cases, charging only a fraction of the cost). The rhetorics of those two models tend to be reversed when discussing digital transformations. Why is it that the most business-minded people in academe, the boards of trustees and CFOs, seem to be enamored of giving away the resource that they actually charge for now, while being mostly indifferent to giving away the resource they are now paying for (twice)?

— Jason Mittell, in his excellent Chronicle piece on why open access, not MOOCs, is a more fundamental and important force for democratizing higher education