Now that we have all spent time in labs we are comfortable enough to text each other to ask questions about assignments. This happens on an almost daily basis. We can share our notes when the time crunch is on, it is easy to just ask a friend if they have any notes the can contribute. When the frustration really sets in I have had times where I will Skype with other students and we can work through some questions together. There has also been an instance of three-way calling (who knew you could still do that?). It really helps sometimes to just talk things out with peers who are in the same boat as you. It really helps to know you are not the only one having trouble and there are classmates you can reach out to for help.
I have said before, but I will say it again, I do wish that I had been in the place I am in with my classmates now many months ago. We did not really get a good chance to know each other until the first lab block which is about halfway through the program. The first few months of the program were some difficult ones. There are times you have to wait for an instructor to answer a question who may be in a time zone four hours away when it would have been ten times easier to text a classmate. We did not know each other that well and I myself did not feel that comfortable. My suggestion to future students of the online hybrid program would be to spend time getting to know each other at orientation so you have that kind of relationship. It would even be a good suggestion for the college to have more time in which everyone can just get to know each other. Even your lab instructors (I had five fantastic lab instructors!) are a great resource but you do not really get to know them until the lab blocks as well. I feel now I could easily shoot any of my lab instructors an e-mail with a question (or a hilarious joke) and they would be happy to help even though we are not in lab anymore.
So while I have found my classmates and instructors to be a great resource for support, guidance or just an ear to listen to me vent it was not until what I think was too late in the course for it to happen. I wish I would have had the relationship I have with them now all along. It would have meant a lot less late nights getting frustrated. So future students, make sure you do just that, it will make all the difference in your learning online.