I should of asked what level of school and in what country each of you are. The fact that many of you refer to classes as lectures makes me think you're from outside the states, but I suppose I could be wrong.
I'm a law student in the states. Today and yesterday were the last days of class. We applauded at the end of every class... the end of a year of constitutional law seemed particularly momentous. I believe there was one class last year that we did not applaud in... he was a really horrible prof.
I am (almost done) attending a university on the east coast (of the US), and we call our classes lectures. I suppose this is because, in addition to lecture, we also have recitation, workshop, and lab.
If you mean at the conclusion of the total course, the last class of all classes with that teacher/professor:
(In U.S. undergraduate university in any of the 4 years)
Yes, I've felt the desire to do it at the end of the term with a professor and class I've enjoyed. Some classes just felt great (we students liked each other, liked being there, and liked the professor, who liked working with us), and on top of that, you have that sense of accomplishment that comes with the end of learning a whole new branch of study.
So if we all feel it, as a class, on a few occasions we've applauded, for the professor and for ourselves.
I remember in university, a bunch of jerks known to the prof mockingly applauded him for a nothing special lecture. A large number of the class unwittingly followed suit. Thinking that he was being mocked, the prof refused to do any more lectures.
Yes, I'm from Europe (Ireland actually). Irish people in general also thank bus drivers when getting off at the stop, which many other nationalities have commented on as being odd.... As for lectures, some of mine are in theatres as big as 250 people, so applauding the lecturer is easier than going down to the prof at the end of the lecture due to the amount of people trying to get out of the room . For one of my english classes this year I had a different speaker practically every week so we definitely applauded at the end of each of those lectures. We tend to applaud most lectures anyway though (except one particularly dull one about font type). *shrug*
And yes, there are such things as INTPs who overuse emoticons
I am from Canada and did my undergrad in geography at a smaller university. I have never applauded a lecture, unless of course we had a guest speaker or presentations. I have never heard of any of my friends doing this either.
"That's life. If nothing else, its life. It's real, and sometimes it fuckin' hurts, but it's sort of all we have."