What are you teaching?
If you don’t know this, then I don’t even…
Who are you teaching?
This is a no-brainer, but depending on age, background, education-level, ability-disability, etc. you will probably need to tweak or completely redesign your instruction. A 20 year old from Syria and a 20 year old from Syracuse will probably have different norms and needs. Instruction needs to be made relevant to your students, because if it’s not relevant or useful, why bother?
Where are you teaching?
High school, community college, Ivy-League college, East Coast, West Coast, No Coast, Thailand, Sweden, community arts center, museum, online? They all have different possibilities and resources. You can’t just copy-paste instruction and have it work the same everywhere. Not everywhere has a flawless wi-fi connection. Tailor your instruction to the place where it is happening.
How much time do you have for instruction?
This will really impact your instruction. For example a high school art teacher may only have 45 minutes with each of their classes, but a college professor will have 3 hours to spend with each of their studio classes. Which teacher do you think will be able to address their subject matter in a deeper way? Which teacher will have an easier time getting their students into the flow of working? This is why time is so important.
Is the instruction necessary for the group of people you are teaching?
Often, as an instructional designer, you will be tasked by others to design instruction for a group whether it be a classroom or a boardroom. Sometimes, after analyzing the situation, you will find that the instruction desired by your boss/client isn’t what is actually needed. This is important information, and you should let your boss-client know if this is the case (and back it up with plenty of nice data and charts).
These are some of the very important questions you must find answers for in order to design quality instruction.