Module Description - Human Factors

Course Overview - Registration


This is Module 7 of the online Level 1 Avalanche course Opens in New Window developed and supported by AlpenPro Opens in New Window and offered here in the Avalanche Institute sponsored by the CSAC Avalanche Center Opens in New Window. It introduces the Human Factors involved in avalanche and mountain safety.

The prerequisites for this module are module 4 (weather), module 5 (snowpack 1), and module 6 (terrain 1). This module is a prerequisite for modules 9 and 10 and is required for Field Day #2. It is concurrent with Field Day #1 and may be done either before or after that.


  • Understand the role of groups, decisions, leadership, and communication
  • Describe and implement good group management practices
  • List and recognize factors which affect individual behavior
  • Describe the importance of group size and composition in behaviors
  • List at least four common and basic "human factors" problems


This module covers two general topics:

  • Human Factor Basics
  • Issues and Common Problems

Each of these is broken down further into sub-topics within the course, the Outline on this page shows more detail.


Welcome, Instructions

Human Factor Basics

  • Overview
  • Human Factors Triangle

Issues and Common Problems

  • Common Problems
  • Behavioral Factors - Individual and Group
  • Fads and Trends


  • Case Study
  • Review

Human and technical Resources

This module has complete access to human resources and technical support. There are numerous ways to contact an instructor and to interact with other students. The module has its own forum for questions and discussion, there is a drop box for sending documents (including messages) to other students in the module and/or an instructor, there is a messaging system accessed from the top of the web interface, and there is always email.


There are assessments incorporated into this module which allow students to check and share their understanding of the material. Quizzes may be taken as many times as desired, either to obtain a passing score or just to attempt to ultimately get a perfect score.

There is one crossword puzzle taken and scored online and one student publication to be submitted (i.e. observations, a case study, etc.).

Successful completion of this module requires passing the crossword quiz and submitting a brief "publication".

Course material

Most of the materials included in this module are from a workbook developed and used by AlpenPro Opens in New Window. A few items are from the Avalanche Center Opens in New Window website. Links are provided to external resources where appropriate.

We have made use of some of the excellent posters by Despair Demotivational Posters Opens in New Window in this module.