Virtual Engagement: Mismatch

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



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 this 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.

Recommended Conversation Structure

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

If your students enjoyed the first policy discussion, please feel free to repeat Steps 4 and 5 to continue civil discourse around different controversial issues.

Close Up also offers professional development training for educators who would like to expand their practical skills, tools, and strategies for framing and integrating controversial public issues in the classroom. Click here to learn more!