Virtual Engagement: Mismatch

An educational online tool connecting students across distances and divides in civil discourse through real-time video conversations.


The Close Up Foundation is dedicated to creating educational programs that bring students of diverse backgrounds and perspectives together to engage in meaningful discussions that expand and complement their worldviews. You can now bring this principle to practice in your classroom with Mismatch, an online tool created in partnership with AllSides for Schools. Mismatch makes it easy for classrooms in different parts of the United States to find each other, choose one or more topics to discuss, schedule meeting times, and hold live video conversations.

Participating in Mismatch:

  • Helps educators more deeply integrate the study and practice of civil discourse into lesson plans;
  • Expands students’ perspectives and helps them see a broader world; and
  • Is free of charge to middle school and high school classrooms during the 2019-20 academic year!


How does Mismatch Work?

Educators who wish to register one or more classrooms for Mismatch can start the process anytime by clicking the button below. After being matched, each classroom teacher should expect to participate in a minimum of three student-to-student conversations and two classroom activities over the course of a semester. You can expect each student-to-student conversation to last 20-30 minutes. We also recommend allowing an additional 15 minutes to debrief.


Using Close Up’s Materials to Incorporate Mismatch in Your Classroom


Close Up & AllSides for Schools have teamed up to provide educators with a sequence of easy-to-use lesson plans and resources that foster students’ understanding of current issues and develop skills in news literacy, respectful dialogue, and critical thinking. Below, read more about Close Up’s recommended conversation sequence for recurring discussion between classes over the Mismatch platform, as well as classroom materials and lesson plans designed to prepare students for meaningful civil dialogue.

For educators that want access to more in-depth training for a school or district before engaging with the Mismatch platform, contact or explore  Close Up’s onsite professional development offerings on media literacy, deliberation, and civil dialogue.

Step 1: Introductory Conversation – Getting to Know Each Other
Step 2: Classroom Activity on Political Values
Step 3: Exploring How Our Identities and Values Shape Our Views
Step 4: Classroom Activity on Analyzing Policy Discussions
Step 5: Student to Student: Policy Discussion