Ilona: this is my personal perspective only. (Mary, Eleana, you may lke to comment?)
File sharing is a common need in an online course. For example, in a teachers course they may share classroom worksheets ovr the course of a semester. But in my opinion, with Vanilla Moodle, it is just too hard or to clunky. Here are a few of the options:
FILE SHARING IN A FORUM: You could setup a forum and users add a post and attach their files. Someone may download a file, use it and adapt it and upload a new version. So good so far.
The problem comes when you later have a lot of threads and a lot of posts. How to find the items again? I mean, it's not bad, but it is a litle wea compared to what it could be.
By the way, have you tested this: set up a forum and added a file?
Hence my tracker request to have a link to show all the files attached to a forum. http://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-27062 (Currently there watchers and zero votes and no responses from Moodle developers - how about someone having a go at coding this? Check the Moodle coding guidelines first of course)
I guess this is my preferred option. It uses an existing paradigm, no new ways to do things. I've seen forums get to 100+ posts, and become quite complex. I've sometimes manually downloaded all the attached files and added a folder. (Online stuff is supposed to save time and be sensible!!)
DATABASE: there is the database, but there is only ONE preset for an image gallery:
In writing this post I thought that there must be a way to add to this list, but I cannot find one. So I have taken a little bit of a risk and added a tracker item: http://tracker.moodle.org/browse/MDL-27623
OK: you can create a database for file sharing. But creating a template is quite a difficult exercise. And the using of it is a little different. But there are teachers who like the database. Not really for new or average users however.
FOLDER AND MODIFYING PERMISSIONS.
Someone suggesed this. don't like doing this, but . . it's possible.
Again, new or average users will find this hard.
USE A WIKI. Users need to know the skill of adding a link. This is a higher level of skill than attatch files.
?? Other options? Maybe a contrib module I don't know about?
As I said, Ideally there should be an Activity module "File Sharing" where you can browse to upload, add a description, a few tags and click to add. (Anyone feel like coding?)
I emphasise: my perspective only, designed to cater for new or average users.