Yesterday, I picked up my first payslip for many years.  It’s one of the reasons that the blog has been so quiet over the last few months.  I started teaching a few hours a week at Liverpool Hope University at the end of January and now I’m into the swing of it, I’m really enjoying being back in the classroom.  I teach two classes on the first year Foundations in History Course, one on the graveyard slot on a Friday afternoon at Hope Park, and the other an evening class at their partner site, Holy Cross College in Bury.  They are very different groups, with different needs and different methods of delivery.  The Hope Park group is a standard undergraduate seminar class, whereas the Holy Cross group have other responsibilities such as jobs and children and what’s more, their course is one of ‘blended learning’.  It means that although one week is an epic three hour face-to-face session, the following week we can all work from home, conducting our discussions via an online forum.  It’s certainly an interesting way of doing things.  It has benefits, not least of which is the reduction in commuting time to get to my desk in my study, but also, the forum means that you get to see what everyone thinks without them changing what they say to fit in with everyone else.  All the students can speak at once, without the cacophony that it would make in a classroom situation.  The big drawback to the online sessions is the length of time that it takes the students to respond to any extra questions you might ask.  But on the whole, it’s thoroughly enjoyable.